Why Do They Love to Lay on Your Clothes

One particular behavior that many dog owners have noticed is their furry friends’ affinity for laying on our clothes. It’s a common sight to see our dogs curling up on a pile of freshly laundered garments or making themselves comfortable on a discarded sweater. But why do dogs exhibit this behavior?

the dog sleeps on our clothes

Scent of Familiarity

One of the primary reasons dogs choose to lay on your clothes is the scent of familiarity. Our clothes carry our scent, and dogs have an incredibly powerful sense of smell that surpasses our own. They can detect and differentiate a wide range of odors, including the unique scent of their human companions.

For dogs, scent plays a vital role in their understanding of the world around them. They use their keen sense of smell to gather information, identify individuals, and navigate their environment. When your dog lays on your clothes, they are essentially immersing themselves in your scent. It’s like snuggling up with a familiar and comforting aroma.

To dogs, our scent is a powerful source of reassurance and security. It serves as a constant reminder of their connection to us, their trusted humans. Dogs have a remarkable ability to associate smells with emotions and memories. Your scent represents safety, love, and the bond you share with your furry friend.

The scent of familiarity can also have a calming effect on dogs. It helps to alleviate anxiety and stress, especially when they are separated from their owners. When you’re away, having your clothes nearby can provide a sense of comfort and reduce feelings of loneliness.

In summary, dogs lay on your clothes because your scent brings them a sense of familiarity, security, and comfort. It’s a beautiful testament to the deep bond they share with their human companions. So, the next time you catch your dog curled up on your favorite shirt, remember that they are seeking solace in the scent that represents their connection to you.

Bonding and Affection

Dogs are social creatures by nature, and their desire for bonding and affection is one of the main reasons they choose to lay on your clothes. When your furry friend curls up on your freshly laundered garments, they are seeking a physical and emotional connection with you.

By laying on your clothes, dogs mix their scent with yours, creating a unique blend that symbolizes their love and attachment. It’s their way of being close to you, even when you’re not physically present. Dogs have an uncanny ability to sense our emotions and respond to our needs, and laying on your clothes is their subtle yet powerful display of affection.

For dogs, physical contact is a powerful bonding experience. It releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone,” which promotes a sense of well-being and deepens the emotional bond between you and your furry companion. Laying on your clothes allows dogs to surround themselves with your scent, creating a comforting and secure environment that strengthens the emotional connection.

This behavior is particularly common when dogs are seeking reassurance or when they miss you. It’s their way of finding solace and reminding themselves of your presence. The familiar scent of your clothes can help ease separation anxiety and provide a sense of comfort during times when they cannot be by your side.

It’s important to embrace and reciprocate this behavior by showering your dog with love and affection. Take the time to snuggle and bond with your furry friend, as it not only fulfills their need for companionship but also strengthens the special bond you share. So, the next time you find your dog nestled in your clothes, take a moment to appreciate the beautiful display of bonding and affection they are offering you.

Seeking Comfort and Warmth

When dogs lay on your clothes, one of the primary motivations behind their behavior is seeking comfort and warmth. Our clothes, especially freshly laundered ones, offer a soft and cozy spot that dogs find irresistible.

Dogs are known for their love of comfort. They seek out warm and snug spaces where they can relax and unwind. Your clothes, with their familiar textures and scents, provide a comforting environment that dogs naturally gravitate towards. The fabric of your garments offers a plush surface that contours to their bodies, making it an ideal spot for them to rest.

Additionally, dogs are sensitive to temperature changes. They may seek out your clothes, particularly during colder seasons, to benefit from the residual warmth retained in the fabric. Your recently worn clothes may still carry some of your body heat, providing an extra source of comfort and coziness for your furry friend.

In a pack or family setting, dogs instinctively seek out the warmth and closeness of their pack members. By laying on your clothes, they are mirroring this instinctual behavior and finding solace in the warmth and familiarity that your garments provide.

If you often find your dog snuggled up on your clothes, it’s a clear indication that they find comfort and warmth in doing so. It’s a natural behavior that satisfies their need for a cozy and secure resting spot. So, next time you come across your pup nestled in your favorite sweater, take a moment to appreciate their instinctual drive for comfort and the joy they find in being close to you.

Marking Territory

While dogs may not be as renowned as cats for marking their territory, laying on your clothes can still serve as a subtle form of marking for them. Dogs have a natural inclination to establish a sense of ownership over their surroundings and the belongings of their human companions.

By laying on your clothes, dogs leave their scent behind, effectively claiming the item as part of their territory. This behavior is rooted in their instincts and is a way for them to assert their presence and mark you and your belongings as familiar and safe spaces.

Additionally, dogs have scent glands in their paws, and when they knead or scratch at your clothes, they release pheromones that further mark the area. This behavior is particularly common when they feel a strong connection to you and want to reinforce their bond.

While it may not be as noticeable as other forms of territorial marking, dogs laying on your clothes is their way of subtly declaring, “This is mine, and I am a part of this space.” It’s a testament to their instincts and their desire to establish their presence and connection with you.

Separation Anxiety

Dogs are highly social animals that form deep attachments to their human companions. When dogs lay on your clothes, it can be a sign of separation anxiety, a common issue that many dogs experience when separated from their loved ones.

Your clothes carry your scent, which provides a sense of comfort and familiarity to your furry friend. When you’re not around, the scent of your clothes can serve as a soothing presence that helps alleviate their anxiety. Dogs find solace in your scent, as it reminds them of your presence and can help reduce feelings of loneliness and distress.

Separation anxiety can manifest in various ways, including destructive behavior, excessive barking, or excessive pacing. Laying on your clothes can be a coping mechanism for dogs dealing with separation anxiety. Your clothes serve as a tangible connection to you, providing a source of emotional support and security during your absence.

If your dog consistently lays on your clothes when you’re away, it’s important to address their separation anxiety. Gradual desensitization techniques, such as leaving them with comforting items like blankets or toys that carry your scent, can help alleviate their distress. Seeking guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist can also be beneficial in developing a comprehensive plan to address their separation anxiety.

Understanding that your dog’s behavior of laying on your clothes is rooted in their need for comfort and reassurance can guide you in finding appropriate ways to support them and ease their separation anxiety. Remember, patience, consistency, and providing a secure environment can go a long way in helping your furry friend overcome their anxiety and feel more at ease when you’re not around.


Q1: Should I be concerned if my dog constantly lays on my clothes? A1: It is generally not a cause for concern if your dog enjoys laying on your clothes. It’s a natural behavior that stems from their need for comfort, security, and bonding. However, if this behavior becomes obsessive or starts interfering with their daily routine, it’s advisable to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist.

Q2: Can I discourage my dog from laying on my clothes? A2: While it may be challenging to completely discourage this behavior, you can redirect your dog’s attention to alternative cozy spots like a dog bed or a designated blanket. Make these spots more appealing by adding their favorite toys or treats. Additionally, regular exercise and mental stimulation can help minimize their desire to lay on your clothes.

Q3: Are there any health risks associated with dogs laying on clothes? A3: In most cases, there are no significant health risks. However, it’s important to ensure that your clothes are clean and free from any substances that may be harmful if ingested. Keep an eye on your dog to prevent them from chewing or swallowing any loose threads or buttons that may pose a choking hazard.

Q4: Is this behavior exclusive to certain dog breeds? A4: No, this behavior can be observed across various dog breeds and is not limited to a specific type. Dogs of all shapes and sizes may exhibit this behavior as it is rooted in their natural instincts and desire for closeness with their human companions.

Q5: Can I use this behavior as a training opportunity? A5: Absolutely! You can utilize this behavior to reinforce positive training and strengthen your bond with your dog. Reward them with praise or treats when they choose their designated spot instead of your clothes. This positive reinforcement will help them understand and remember the desired behavior.