Why Does My Dog Lay On My Clothes?

puppy in clothes and linens
Dogs love laundry and linens.
It never fails.

Whenever you throw some stray shirt or sock on the floor, the dog seeks it out to lay on. Or even more strange, when you have a nice heap of clean laundry you put on the couch or bed, as you're getting ready to put it away, here comes the dog to lay directly on top of it all. There's a whole large bed he could lay on, but the clothes are what he goes for. Why? Does he think dog hair looks good on you? Is he trying to get the scent of clean on his smelly doggy body? Or vice-versa?

We did some looking into this, and we may have found some valid ideas on this subject. Whether or not its fully true, they are still pretty interesting thoughts and theories. So, here we go.

When you throw a piece of clothing you've been wearing on the floor, your pooch lays down on it. Even if she has a dog bed. This is strange, but it may just be a sign of love and respect. Commonly, people will see dogs rolling on their clothes or the owners bed after they have been given a bath. Is this just to dry themselves? No, it is so the dog can redistribute the family “scent.” Every person has a scent, which dogs smell easily due to their keen sense of smell. Dogs love scents. There are entire books on "scent-based" activities you can do with your dog.

Your dog has a scent too, which of course we can smell often, due to the strong scent the dog's glands give off. (If it is too strong, you could try a safe and natural deodorizing spray for your pooch, or weekly baths with a gentle shampoo formulated for dogs.) The dog understands the pack concept, even though he isn't in the wild anymore, and the smells play a large roll. Now, you and the family are his pack, and you have a family or "pack" scent. This is the smell of everyone mixed together.

And that, my friends, is the likely answer to why Spot wants to roll on your clothes and linens after a bath!

So, then: why does he lay on the clean clothing after a trip to the laundry? I mean, you just washed those, you don't want some smelly dog feet all over them. Well, this is pretty much for the same reason. Just like when you come home from a friend's house who has a dog of their own, and you realize your pooch is going crazy sniffing you, it is because of the other dog's scent being on you. The smell of dogs identifies them to each other, so they are always interested in scents. The dog laying on the clean clothes may be trying to get his scent back onto you. It's a subtle way of marking his territory and showing the pack scent for your household.

Last one. Why does the dog lay on my discarded dirty clothing? That one stray shirt or sock is so small, yet the pup just has to lay on that one thing. Sometimes he rolls around on it, sometimes he sleeps on it, or just lays there. Well, that may be because he takes comfort from your smell. As the day goes by, your scent gets more ingrained into your clothes. No, we're not saying you have to buy stronger deodorant here. Your dog knows your scent and since he cares about you, and his place in your pack, he feels comforted by your scent. The dirty shirt just has more of your scent on it. He would probably like a used towel, too.

So, there's the answer to another burning question. More next time. Keep woofing!

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22 comments:

  1. Love this article! I am going to give it a shout-out on my blog today!

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  2. Great article i have a suggestion though - the sentence "the dog understands his... ...you and your family are his pack." Was a little hard to understand - i read it like you wanted the section inbetween the commas as they were in () why didnt you use ()?

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  3. I understood the Authors meaning clearly... But thank you Mr./Ms. OCD.... (Unknown)!

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  5. Thank you.. I enjoyed your article. What you wrote makes perfect sense.. I have a chocolate lab who takes my towel out of my hands once I remove it from my head after a shower.. he also goes into every room and gets other members of our "pack" towels. In t hy e morning I have to go thru once everyone has left for the day and pick up towels it's hilarious..

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  6. Nice article, thank you. But a small grammar lesson: in "Whether or not its fully true", "its" should be "it's" (it is). Also, in "the smells play a large roll", "roll" should be "role" (no hamburg here!).

    :-)

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    1. Sourire - People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Don't YOU mean (no HAMBURGER here!) Hamberg is a city in Wells County, North Dakota, United States. Try being less pedantic in your observation of another's grammar, and perhaps a bit less concerned with offering unsolicited advice. The material in this article is the focus - not the grammar. Come on now.

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    2. You don't need to spell perfectly to help other people. And the proverb you're using doesn't fit the situation at all. She isn't taunting him with his mistakes, she is pointing them out and helping by showing how it should be written.

      Of course the article isn't about the grammar, but it is still nice for it to look clean, you know.

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    4. My God you people are ALL crazy!

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  7. My husky loves to roll on my pants and then i have to struggle to get it from him. Even befor work he is always on my pants and socks.

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  8. Growing up my best friend was a wolf/shepherd hybrid. He definitely suffered from separation anxiety. He would find every article of clothing I owned whether clean or not and make a nest of sorts in front of our bay window where he would sit all day howling until I came home. Needless to say the neighbors were not thrilled with his poor lonely dilemma especially since his howl was louder then the cities bomb alert alarms... Luckily many our neighbors loved him and tolerated his "Blues" tribute.

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  9. There are various persons who swear by this presence of a pet dog in your house and who say that there' no requirement to go in for nice anti theft and anti-burglar equipment.
    The second most common reason why people love to get a dog in the house is designed for the sheer fun and joy which the animal offers. There are numerous quotes and proverbs relevant to dogs that has established the way popular these animals are.

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  10. So interesting. I think this could. Be true. The first day I met my dog I rubbed him all over my neck to see if I'm allergic. He's been in love with me from the first day cuz I scented him as. My pack. Ha ha. He didn't like to be pet or me to pet dogs until mutually agreed they can be a part of our pack. Lol

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  11. So interesting. I think this could. Be true. The first day I met my dog I rubbed him all over my neck to see if I'm allergic. He's been in love with me from the first day cuz I scented him as. My pack. Ha ha. He didn't like to be pet or me to pet dogs until mutually agreed they can be a part of our pack. Lol

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  12. Thanks for this very sweet and informative post. I always intuited that my dog seeking out my recently worn shirt (pants, whatever) was a sign of affection but wasn't sure. Now I am. Thanks!

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  13. Makes perfect sense. My black Labrador will go for my shoes and socks,then my husband's shoes and socks. She will chew on the shoes but just the tips and heels. Now the socks lol, she will hide them in her crate with her head on top of them all. When I collect the laundry I have to check her crate as well. Now my husbands dog(older boxer, Labrador, pit mix) will lay on any article of clothing usually makes a bed of different pieces from everyone..

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  14. My Australian Terrier used to nestle in our laundry basket every day! We made a "fake" laundry basket bed just to accommodate.. lol

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  15. I refuse to comment, due to the Grammar Nazi's. With half my brain tied around my back, I clearly could see and interpret what the individual's were saying. Think now, even some of the best author's hire editor's to review there manuscript, however, I was more interested in the Dog's then going back to school for a lesson with Mrs. Butterfield. (She was my 6th grade teacher.) THANKS!! And please keep posting about our dogs! Even if your not the best writer, we rather hear about our babies, we understand you, I require information, not perfection, the rest can be figured out without the need to correct every living thing on the planet about PROPER GRAMMAR! (voice of a elderly school teacher). I just see so much of it on the web, when people are trying to convey idea's and knowledge, it really gets quite sick and bothersome after awhile. If your concerned about The World's Grammar become an Editor or School Teacher. Ok i said enough, time for the Grammar Nazi's to pick it apart, even though I am half-drunk!! CHEERS!!

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