Why does my dog sleep on my clothes?

If your dog does love to sleep on your clothes, you might be wondering why he so much likes to lay on your laundry whether they are clean or dirty.

If yes, then, this post will reveal all the facts you should know about your dog and his decision to do so.

So, why does my dog sleep on my clothes? The main reason your dog does it is that your clothes have your scent on them, he is missing you especially if you’re away for some time, your clothes are more comfortable to sleep on, or he has separation anxiety

Given that there are many other reasons responsible for this behavior, you must understand what drives it, as each conveys a different meaning, and understanding them could guide you when dealing with your dog.

Read on below as I explain further and uncover all the reasons behind his action

1. Dogs like to smell the scent of their owners

As I previously stated above, the biggest reason that accounts for this behavior in your pooch is simply that he wants to smell you. As you may have known, dogs are very smell-oriented animals and have a sense of smell that’s way more advanced than that of humans.

As a result of this, they are reminded of you by things that smell like you when they feel the scent of your clothes since they are already familiar with your smell. Your dog loves you deeply and gets comforted by doing this. It is for the same reason we humans tend to have photos of our loved ones close to us to make us remember them.

Personally, at times I smell the clothing of my partner when she’s away for a while). Maybe it’s not a general behavior common in most people but I REALLY do like to smell.

So don’t be angry at your dog if he untidily searches through your laundry basket, looking for your stuffs to lay out and sleep on, she likes to be near your smell and she’s getting comfort unless she’s showing some undesirable acts I’ll mention later in the article.

2. He finds them more comfortable to sleep on

Believe it or not, dogs understand the different levels of comfort. From sleeping on hardwood floors to typical dog beds and your pile of clothes, they can know which one gives them the best comfort they want. Unsurprisingly, your clothes are mostly made of soft materials that make them super ideal for your dog to sleep on to give him the much-desired cozy feeling.

This combined with your scent provides great cushioning and makes your dog feeling safe and secure.

3. Separation anxiety

One of the major signs of a dog suffering from separation anxiety [1] is looking for your scent. This occurs when a dog is upset because of separation from their owners or people they are attached to. Although, this could lead to some destructive behaviors than just laying on your laundry stuffs.

This happens especially if you’re separated from your dog for the first time. A dog that you have really bonded with, take to walk almost every day, sleep on the same bed with would find it hard to handle your disappearance as he’s going to really miss you. He will resort to sleeping on your clothes to smell the scent of you

4. You’re unintentionally rewarding him

Dogs are much easily trained by positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement means giving something to your dog when he does the desired action you want from him so he associates the action with the reward and does it more often. The reward could be in the form of treats, toys, or playing with him.

Coincidentally at times, we dog owners tend to reward our dog when they perform an action that we do not require from them. As such, they catch this wrong signal and continue displaying the behavior they thought was expected of them

So unknowingly to you, you may have rewarded (or given treats to) your dog when he sleeps on your clothes and he has already seen it as an encouragement from you to continue with the behavior

What should you do about it?

If you ask me, I’ll not discourage my dog from such behavior. It’s one of his ways of showing his affection for you even when you are away from him. And so you may know, not all dogs do this, so considering that, you may be having a very loyal dog with you.

How to Stop your dog from sleeping on your clothes?

Even though I mentioned I’d not discourage or stop my dog from such behavior, but things can be different when your dog starts getting destructive by tearing your clothes apart, peeing on them, etc. So if this is the case with your dog, here are some tips to stop him.

1. Restrict his access to your clothes

One simple way to curb this is to make sure your dog doesn’t have access to your clothes. Keep your laundry basket unreachable to him. If there’s no way to make it unreachable for him, make sure the lid is well closed and do not put your laundry in the basket while he’s present.

2. Teach him the “Leave It” command

Teaching him the “leave it” command is a way of instructing him you’re not happy with the habit and should stop. Actually, this is not as easy as it sounds as dogs do not understand English, but you need to find a way to make him understand this command which you can even employ to stop him from other undesirable habits. I found a great product recently that helps dog owners even if they are first-timers to train their dogs and make them obedient. You can check it here (opens in new tab).

3. Make him a comfortable spot to sleep

If the reason for sleeping on your clothes and dirty laundry is because of comfort, then it’s high time you got him a more comfortable bed and spot to sleep on. Beds that are well cushioned should work and make sure his bed spot is warm and free from noise.

4. Help him reduce his separation anxiety

Easing him of his separation anxiety is a way of reducing the effect of your absence on him to help stop the habit when he misses you.

Give him a SPECIAL treat he rarely receives from you when you are about to leave. This could be a puzzle toy stuffed with peanut butter. Make sure you take the toy away from him as soon you’re back so he understands the value and that it’s not an everyday reward.

You can get him a natural calming supplement to reduce it.

Another way to help him is getting him his blanket and leaving your scent on it to get him reminded of you till you are back.


Scent smelling is a powerful sense that dogs use to know they are home, safe, and with their pack. Your dog laying on your clothes can be unpalatable to you but know they do it out of love. You can redirect this habit with a little training and a lot of love.

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