Dear Labby, Why Does My Dog Sleep on My Clothes?

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Dear Labby_oldDear Labby,
Look at this picture of my dog Tally…she’s lying on top of my flip-flops! What is up with that? She does it all the time, whenever I discard a piece of clothing on the floor, she lies down on top of it – why?
Tally’s mom.

Dear Tally’s Mom,
Many people think it’s because they love you…and that’ pretty true. The clothing you discard has our scent on it and dogs, being pack animals, always want to feel joined to their pack, so lying on top of your scent helps them feel closer.
Dogs will lie on top of clean laundry too and not just because it’s comfy. There’s still an association to you and they are trying to share their scent with these items of yours, spreading it around so to speak. All part of keeping the pack together.

I don’t know why some dogs do it and some don’t – maybe some sense of anxiety or maybe it’s just a comfort. Our Sally used to do it, and she wasn’t an anxious dog – I think she did it just to be close to me. None of our other dogs have done it, so go figure. Do any of you have a dog that does this?
Here’s an interesting article that looks at this a little closer:

Why Does My Dog Lay On My Clothes?


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  1. Great post and article! I’ve always wondered, and my Lab did it yesterday on my clean newly folded towels. Interestingly, my little dog would do it on my mom’s laundry (she was her dog), and not mine. I’m wondering if the dogs know which dog is ‘head’ of the pack with their human……..

  2. I think they do it because they know it irritates me…lol. Like when Freighter steals my shoes.
    2 Brown Dawgs recently posted…Thursday Barks and Bytes–It’s A Doggie PartyMy Profile

  3. Easy loves to roll in fresh bedding…I first thought he enjoys a fresh bed… (howly simplecity lol) he just wants to make sure that it is HIS bed what smells like Easy :o)
    easyweimaraner recently posted…easyblog WHAT DOES …My Profile

  4. We’ve always wondered the same thing. The cat actually does it more than the dogs!
    Miley’s Daily Scoop recently posted…Treats Fit for a Pack of WolvesMy Profile

  5. Flash and Patches don’t do this, but Chewy has done it almost since we brought him home. Clean clothes, dirty clothes, socks, shoes – he naps on all of them. He also loves to make a little bed out of blankets.
    Flea recently posted…Bernese Mountain DogMy Profile

  6. Harley is very selective. Winter hats and socks are about all he grabs and takes to his bed. He’s never abusive or destructive, just carries it around. This occurs upon my return when I’ve been gone for a long time or several days. Silly Doodle 🙂

  7. Interesting! My dogs and cats attempt to lay on my laundry all the time, and I tell you….huskies shed…A LOT, so it is not a great thing to find my laundry all full of husky fur! BOL!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Kinder Husky!!My Profile

  8. My dogs lay on our clothes, Norman used to pick up blankets, rugs and would always carry socks downstairs, Gambler does the blankets and rugs and glory does the socks. MK will also now lay on John’s sweatshirt after he gets home from work.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Thursday Barks And Bytes~Swim Little DudesMy Profile

  9. Mine will often times lay on my shoes and sometimes even my feet!! LOL

    Delilah loves dirty things. She will pull a dish towel or underwear out of the basket and rub herself on them. She also does this with dryer sheets too. She’s just weird. 🙂

    Thank you for joining the blog hop!!
    Jodi recently posted…My Dogs are Trying to Kill Me – Barks and BytesMy Profile

  10. I cannot fold clothes near Eko, he loves diving headfirst into the basket – I think, like me, he loves the feel of warm laundry.

  11. Even clean laundry has your scent on it. Human scent is all over no matter how much you try to remove it. We like to be near you, so we take your stuff, or sleep on it, it’s what dogs do.
    Emma recently posted…Perfect SUV Cargo Liner #SeatCovers4KninesMy Profile

  12. Sometimes when a foster dog has been with us for a long time, we send her back to the shelter with a stinky t-shirt that we\’ve used to capture Mike’s, Honey’s, and my scent. I don’t know if it helps. But it can’t hurt.
    Pamela recently posted…Why Should I Yell At My Dog Because Your Dog Is A Jerk?My Profile

  13. Bentley will get on top of my clothes when I take them off. We are in the habit of picking our clothes up immediately, because our Golden used to retrieve it to the laundry room the second it hit the floor. ☺
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…For the Love of Caru StewsMy Profile

  14. Ace will curl up on any clothes I leave on the floor, especially if there is no dog bed in that room. My cats will curl up on clothes too. My cat Scout is pretty much obsessed with my husband, so guess who’s clothes Scout is always napping on? Yep, Josh’s.
    Lindsay recently posted…Does every dog have a purpose?My Profile

  15. Oh yeah! I always like to sit on Mama or Papa’s clothes! I’m just like the doxie in the photograph in the article you linked to. As a fairly “anxious” pup, it is important to me that the rest of my pack always wear a little “essence of Gilligan” fragrance to remind them of me at all times, and vice versa!
    Gilligan recently posted…Camouflaged Capers – Thanksgiving in T-minus 1 WeekMy Profile

  16. Ginger dog does this some.

    My pet rats will do this too! They are always looking for things to lie on or hide in. Although – they also like to chew holes in clothes, shoes, and other things if they get the chance!

  17. I see this with the cats far more than with the dogs. But we’re pretty neat people and don’t often leave clothes lying around in places where the dogs could lie on them!
    Jan K recently posted…Clicker Training – A Positive Experience (Part 3) – ShapingMy Profile

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