Why Does My Dog Roll In My Clothes? 12 Reasons + 7 Tips To Stop It

Dogs are one of the most fun and loyal companions a person can ask for. They provide unmatchable love and devotion, plus there’s nothing quite like knowing your buddy is cuddled up next to your bed as you slowly doze off. 

Going to the park, walking down a river trail, or hiking in the mountains – dogs make all sorts of activities more enjoyable and special! 

But having a dog is a big responsibility. Knowing when to reward positive behaviors, offering friendship, and creating a safe environment is a must to help a dog reach his full potential.

Dog owners need to understand their pet’s behaviors and motivations, so the whole family can live happy and healthy lives.

So what about a dog that keeps rolling in its owner’s clothes? Why does my dog roll in my clothes? The quick and easy answer is that your dog is rolling in your clothes because your clothes smell like you, it’s fun, your dog is trying to spread or mask his scent, your dog is drying off, your clothes are in his rolling spot, your dog is itchy, your dog is bored, your dog likes the smell of your laundry detergent, your dog is excited, other instincts have kicked in or you trained your dog to do it.

Why Do Dogs Roll in Your Clothes?

So, you’ve noticed your furry canine friend rolling in your clothes now and then and you want to know what the heck he is up to. 

There are some pretty logical (to your dog at least!) explanations for why dogs exhibit this behavior!

Let’s check out some common reasons and explore why your pooch might be rolling in your garments.

Your Clothes Smell Like You

Your scent is unmistakable to your dog, and he loves you. When he rolls in your clothes, he is surrounding himself with your scent, which is comforting to him. Just think of it as him getting an air hug from you!

It’s Fun

Sometimes dogs roll in your clothes simply because it’s fun for them. Rolling around comes naturally to dogs and it’s something that they enjoy.  For your dog, your clothes might happen to be the perfect texture for a satisfying roll.

Your Dog Wants To Spread His Scent

Your dog has his own unique scent, and sometimes he might use it to mark things.  Don’t worry though this isn’t a dominance kind of thing. 

Instead, your dog probably wants the world to know that you’re his buddy.  So other dogs need not apply for the best friend role!

Rolling in your clothes can help your canine friend to leave his scent behind, marking his territory and asserting his presence.

Your Dog Is Trying To Mask His Smell

Your dog might have a scent on him he isn’t happy with.   He might be trying to mask it by rolling in your garments. It could be a scent from another dog, a strange animal, or even something he got into outdoors that doesn’t smell good to him.

Your clothes may make the perfect smelly cover-up!

Your Dog Is Drying Off

Does your dog seem to roll in your clothes after getting wet from a bath or a walk in the rain? Well, he might be using your clothes to help themselves dry off. Sure, it might not be the most convenient method for you, but it gets the job done for them!

If your dog specifically does it after a bath and not other times he’s wet then could relate to what I talked about above. He might be trying to get rid of the soap scent and get a more familiar scent (yours!) on him.

Your Clothes Are In Your Dog’s Rolling Spot

Sometimes, the reason might not have much to do with your clothes at all. Your dog might have a favorite spot to roll, and your clothes just happen to be there. It’s all about location, location, location!

Is Your Dog Itchy? Scratch that!

One of the reasons dogs roll in clothes is to get relief from an itch. There are all sorts of things that make a dog itch like:

  • Parasites – External parasites like ticks and mites can cause itchiness and discomfort for your pup.
  • Fleas – These pesky insects are well-known to cause itching, and your dog may roll in clothes to try and dislodge them.
  • Just a Normal Itch – Sometimes, dogs simply have a regular itch that needs tending.

Clothes, especially those with buttons or zippers, can provide a great surface for your canine companion to scratch their itch. So, don’t be surprised if your good boy seeks solace in your dirty laundry!

Boredom: When There’s Nothing Better to Do

Like humans, dogs can get bored, especially when they’re left alone for long periods or don’t receive adequate mental and physical stimulation.

Rolling in clothes may be just one of the ways your dog entertains himself when he’s feeling a little, well, bored.

Your Laundry Detergent Smells Delightful!

Believe it or not, your dog might be attracted to the scent of your laundry detergent. It’s easy to underestimate just what extraordinary sniffers dogs are.  Your pooch might think the scent of your detergent is just delightful and want it on him too. 

And what better way to transfer that scent than to roll around on your clothes?!

Look at Me! I’m Excited!

Sometimes your pup might roll in your clothes out of pure excitement.  Dogs do all sorts of silly things when they are very happy. I know from first-hand experience, my dog Duke gets so excited sometimes he does not know what to do with himself!

Other Instincts at Play

Other natural instincts could be at work when your dog rolls in your clothes.  I went over things like marking you or covering their scent.

As pack animals, dogs have many instincts regarding scents and bonding.  And your clothes could happen to be a convenient medium for your pup to express his instincts.

Did You Teach Your Dog This ‘Trick’?

Say what? While you might be wondering how could you accidentally teach your dog to do something it’s worth considering.  You actually could have inadvertently trained your dog to roll in your clothes.

If you’ve ever praised or reinforced this behavior by laughing, petting, or treating your dog when they roll in clothes, you might have unknowingly taught your good boy this quirky habit.

Is It Okay For My Dog To Roll In My Clothes?

It could be alright for your dog to roll in your clothes, but there are a few considerations you should keep in mind.

Make sure your good boy isn’t causing any damage to your clothing or other belongings. Dogs aren’t known to be the most careful or cleanest pets in the world.  Your dog might tear or stain clothes while rolling around in them, which could lead to some wardrobe disappointments.

Next, you should ask yourself if you’re alright with it. If your dog happens to be rolling in freshly laundered clothes, you might not be too thrilled about the situation. Remember, your clothes carry your scent, which is comforting for your dog, but his rolling around may result in your clean clothes having the “eau de dog” fragrance.

Finally, keep in mind your dog’s potential habit of rolling in clothes shouldn’t extend to other people’s belongings. This behavior might not be appreciated by roommates, family, and especially dog sitters if you ever need someone to watch your pup while you’re away.

So, while there’s no strict rule against dogs rolling in their owner’s clothes, you ought to weigh the pros and cons and figure out what works best for you and your dog.

And if you find that the clothes-rolling habit is causing issues, make sure to check out my tips and trick for getting your dog to stop rolling in your clothes.

How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Rolling In My Clothes?

While it might be a cute behavior to watch, your dog rolling on your clothes can be more than a little annoying.  Especially when your favorite shirt ends up covered in dog hair and less-than-pleasant odors!

Don’t worry, though – I’ve got your back! Here are some effective strategies to get your dog to stop rolling in your clothes.

Change Detergent Scents

Believe it or not, some dogs just love the smell of certain laundry detergents! If you think this might be a possible reason behind your dog’s behavior, try switching to a different fragrance or choose a fragrance-free detergent.

Your dog may be less attracted to your clothes once the scent changes.

Teach Obedience Commands

Having a well-trained dog can make a world of difference. Teach your pup obedience commands like ‘no’ and ‘leave it’, and reinforce these commands by using them consistently.

With patience and regular practice, your dog will learn to listen and understand when you tell him to stay away from your clothes.

Put Your Clothes Someplace Else

It’s a simple solution, and one you’re mom would be proud of! Store your clothes in a dresser or a closet that your dog cannot access.

If your wardrobe is off-limits, your dog won’t be able to indulge in their rolling habit.

Make Sure Your Dog Has His Own Space

Make sure your dog has a designated place that’s his own, like a crate or a dog bed, in which they can feel comfortable and relaxed. Dogs don’t need much, but a place they can go without causing trouble is one of the few things they do need.

Keep Your Dog Mentally and Physically Active

A tired dog is less likely to develop unwanted behaviors. Keep your dog occupied with daily play sessions, and engaging toys. This will not only help to deter him from rolling in your clothes but also improve his overall health and happiness.

Shower Your Dog with Love and Attention

A lack of attention may lead to your dog seeking unconventional ways to gain your attention – like rolling in your clothes. Make sure you set aside quality time each day to bond with your dog, either by playing with him, grooming him, or simply cuddling together.

He’ll feel more secure and won’t feel the need to engage in disruptive behaviors.

Consult a Professional

If you’ve tried everything and your dog is still rolling in your clothes, consider consulting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They’ll be able to provide personal guidance and tailored strategies to help manage your dog’s behavior.

Wrapping It Up: Why Do Dogs Roll On Clothes?

It’s probably fair to say that dogs rolling in our clothes isn’t something terrible. In fact, there can be some pretty logical explanations behind the behavior, and your dog probably isn’t trying to be a bother. 

But, if you find the behavior inconvenient, annoying, or it’s wreaking havoc on your favorite outfits, you can use the helpful tips and tricks above to get your pup to stop the behavior and keep your clothes safe in the process.

With some patience and training, you can get your good boy to keep away from your garments and teach him more appropriate ways to show his affection.

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