Why Does My Dog Sleep On My Clothes?

By helloBARK!
Updated on 24 March 2021
Expert Content

Have you ever wondered why your dog sleeps on your clothes?

You may have noticed that your canine companion loves to enjoy a nap on some dirty clothes left on your bed.

Perhaps your four-legged friend has a habit of plopping themselves on a pile of clean laundry fresh from the tumble dryer.

While seeing your pup on your clothing can be a charming and endearing sight, there can be some reasons behind this dog behavior.

This can range from wanting to be close to you, finding a cosy spot to snooze or signs of separation anxiety.

We spoke to a number of experts to learn more about this curious behavior.

A Way Of Connecting With You

Amber LaRock, Licensed Vet Tech And Veterinary Consultant At CatPet.Club

Many dogs turn to sleeping on their owner’s clothes for comfort. While every dog is different, this behavior is typically due to a few common causes.

The first one involves your dog’s desire to be near you at all times. Whether your clothes are clean or dirty, a dog can always smell our scent with their powerful noses. Sleeping in our clothes may be their way of connecting with you.

If your dog only turns to your pile of clothes when they are straight out of the dryer, they may simply enjoy a warm cuddle session with the soft fabric. This can also stand true if your clothing pile is filled with warm and cozy sweaters.

If you always find your dog sleeping on your clothes when you arrive home, this could be a sign of separation anxiety in your furry friend. This could be your dog’s way of saying they miss you, and trying their best to surround themselves in your scent.

Our dogs have powerful sniffers, and they will certainly smell your scent on your clothing pile. If a dog is very connected to their owner, they may find comfort in being wrapped up in something that smells like their humans.

Funny Shih Tzu dog resting on the bed in bedroom (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Funny Shih Tzu dog resting on the bed in bedroom (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cozy Sleeping Spot

Danielle Mühlenberg, Dog Behaviorist At Paw Leaks

Many dogs like to sleep on their owner’s clothes for various reasons.

Primarily, the clothes carry a strong scent – whether they are clean or dirty – which provides your dog with a sense of comfort and safety. Dogs perceive a lot of things through their sense of smell.

When getting a new puppy, owners are advised to take a blanket with them that carries the scent of the puppy’s mother to help him/her be calmer in a new environment.

Furthermore, a pile of clothes can be transformed into a cozy sleeping spot that is not only warm but also smooth and soft on the skin.

Two Greyhounds take a nap (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Two Greyhounds take a nap (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Trying To Gain Your Attention

Dr Michelle Burch, DVM At Safe Hounds Pet Insurance

The most common reason a dog will sleep on your clothes is to have your scent on them, even dirty clothes. Your unique scent will provide comfort, happiness, and reassurance to them, especially when you are not at home.

I recommend pet owners place a dirty item of clothing in a crate when working on crate training to provide comfort. Laying on your clothes can also help your dog feel a part of a pack.

Dogs are natural pack animals and need to belong in a group. When they are lying on your clothes, they are actually immersing themselves in your scent to help the whole pack smell similar while strengthening social bonds.

Your dog may also be trying to gain your attention if you have been away frequently with work or school, and playtime or cuddle time has decreased. This simple act of laying on your clothes will grab your attention and have it focus on your pet. Ensure the attention is not negative and engage in positive play and reinforcement to let your pup know everything is ok in the pack.

A pile of clothes on the floor or bed can also be a cozy area to sleep instead of the floor. The floor can be too hard or cold, and a mound of clothes that has your scent can be the perfect comfortable location to take a nap.

Your Dog Adores You!

Jen Jones, Dog Trainer, Dog Behaviorist And Founder Of Your Dog Advisor

Why do dogs sleep on your clothes? The answer to this is very simple – your dog loves you and loves your scent, and the smell of you means he is safe and at home.

A dog’s sense of smell is about 40 times greater than our own. So not only are they smelling the basic you smells, (your deodorant, perfume, cologne, etc), they are also smelling other scents you can’t even imagine.

For dogs, their sense of smell is another form of communication and language.

When you catch your dog slumbering on your laundry, take it as a good sign. That pup adores you!

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