Why Does My Dog Take My Clothes

Why Does My Dog Take My Clothes When I Leave?

Have you noticed that as soon as you leave the room or house, you come back to your clothes being in a different spot or underneath your dog?  You may have wondered why does my dog take my clothes when I leave?  This article will help you understand the reasons why dogs like our clothes.

Reasons Why Dogs Steal Clothes


One of the main reasons dogs take our clothes when we leave is because they have our scent on them.  Dogs have a very strong sense of smell, and our scent is comforting to them.  So if we are gone and they miss us or want to feel more secure, they will use our clothes to get that comfort until we return.


Another reasons dogs take our clothes is out of boredom.  If you’ve been busy and haven’t gotten to play or walk your dog as much as normal then your dog may take your clothes because they are bored. 

A bored dog will try and find things to do to keep themselves busy, those things could include stealing your shoes, clothes, or anything else they can get their paws or teeth on.


A common reason why dogs steal clothes is because they are looking for attention.  It is normal for us to react when we come home and find our shirt being used as a chew toy. 

For dogs, any reaction is giving them attention.  So even you are getting upset you are still paying attention to them.  Any attention is good attention in the eyes of our dogs, and dogs quickly learn how to get our attention.

Wanting to Play

Dog playing outside

Dogs sometimes steal things because they want to play.  This also goes hand in hand with being bored.  If they are looking for something to play with and your clothes are lying around, they may decide those are interesting items to play with.

Wanting Comfort

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, they may want the comfort that your scent provides.  We bring comfort to our dogs just like they bring comfort to us. 

If your dog is especially attached to you, they will use items with your scent as like a security blanket to comfort them while you are away.

Wanting Something to Chew on

Sometimes our dogs just want to chew on something, and with nothing else around our clothes look like a good option.  It also could be because you have a teething puppy on your hands.  Puppies who are teething will chew on any and everything because their mouths are in pain.

How to Prevent your Dog from Stealing your Clothes

Keep your clothes out of reach

The easiest thing you can do to prevent your dog from taking your clothes is to keep your clothes in a place where the dog can’t reach.  This could be in a dresser drawer or in a closet on a hanger.

Larger dogs may be able to jump up and get the clothes off the hangers, so it is better to keep the closet door closed to prevent this from happening.

Give your dog plenty of exercise before you leave

A tired dog is less likely to be up looking for things to get into like your clothes.  If you can tire your dog out, your dog is more likely to go to sleep after you leave. 

Leave your dog a tasty treat

If you find that tiring your dog out isn’t enough, you can also try to leave a durable stuffed toy with them to keep them occupied.  A stuffed Kong is a great way to both keep your dog entertained and tire them out from all the licking.

Try stuffing a Kong with peanut butter and then freezing it.  Kong also sells “Easy Treats” that you can squirt into the Kong in different flavors.  You can also find loads of Kong stuffing ideas on the internet if you need more.

Consider a dog walker or daycare

If you have a super busy schedule, you may want to consider a dog walker or doggie daycare to keep your dog entertained while you are away.  If you dog is out of the house, they can’t steal your clothes!

Do’s and Don’ts after your dog steals your clothes

  • Do move your clothes to harder to access location
  • Do tire your dog out as much as possible before leaving the house
  • Do leave a durable stuff toy like a Kong to keep your pup entertained
  • Don’t yell or punish your dog (it’s our fault for leaving the clothes accessible)
  • Don’t make a big deal about your coming and going
  • Try not to react if your dog steals your clothes (any attention is good attention!)


There you have it!  Hopefully this gave you some insight into why your dog steals your clothes when you leave the house.  There are many potential reasons why your individual dog could be doing this, but the main thing is how you handle it.

Keeping your clothes out of reach is the fastest and easiest way to keep your clothes protected.  I also love leaving my dog with a tasty peanut butter Kong that keeps her entertained for hours!