If your dog has been holding pillows in its mouth, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog hold pillows in its mouth? Likely reasons why your dog holds pillows in its mouth are that it likes the feeling, it has learned that the behavior is rewarded or that it is bringing them to you as a present.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog holds pillows in its mouth and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why does my dog hold pillows in its mouth?

Below are likely reasons why your dog carries pillows around and what would make them more likely.

Teething

The cause could be that it has started teething. This would be more likely if your dog is still young, it has started doing it suddenly and if it has started chewing on other things as well. In this case, it would help to give it other things to chew on such as bones or toys and to try to hide things that you do not want to be picked up.

Anxiety

Often dogs will carry things around, with their mouths, when they are anxious. Anxiety could be the reason why your dog has been doing it. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when it is more likely to be anxious such as when you are leaving home.

Encouraging the behavior

Your dog might also have learned that carrying pillows in its mouth is rewarded. If you tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it carries pillows, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Your dog is bringing it to you as a present

It might also be the case that your dog is bring them to you as a present. This would be more likely if it tends to bring the pillow its holding to you. Again, in this case, it would help to avoid rewarding the behavior and to limit its access to things that you do not want it to carry.

It simply likes the feeling

It could also be the case that it simply likes the way it feels to hold a pillow. This would be more likely if your dog has been doing it at random times and it does not seem to be doing it for rewards.

Things to consider

Here are things to consider to help figure out the main cause.

If your dog has always carried pillows in its mouth

If your dog did not always carry pillows in its mouth, it would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, the cause would be more likely to be due to things such as teething, rewarding the behavior or separation anxiety causing it to carry something that has your scent on.

The timing of when your dog carries pillows in its mouth

If there is a certain time that your dog tends to carry pillows, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if it tends to do it more when you are about to leave home, it would be more likely that it is anxious. Whereas, if it tends to do it more when you arrive home, it would be more likely that it is bringing it to you as a present.

What to do about my dog carrying pillows in its mouth?

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Avoid encouraging it

It might be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior is rewarded. Instead, it would help to get it to give you the pillow and then to avoid giving it any extra attention until it is well behaved.

Give it other things to hold or chew on

Another option would be to give it things to carry that you don’t mind it carrying. Things to give it could include toys or a bone.

Redirect its focus

Another option would be to redirect its focus towards something else whenever it seems likely to pick pillows up. By doing so repeatedly, you should be able to get it out of the habit of picking up things that you do not want it to.

Keep the pillows out of its reach

If possible, it would also be an option to keep the pillows out of its reach so that it is unable to carry them.

Why does my dog hold socks in its mouth?

Likely reasons why your dog holds socks in its mouth are that it likes the feeling, it is bringing them to you as a present or that it likes the smell on them. If your dog brings them to you, it would be more likely to be due to bringing them to you as a present or wanting rewards. Whereas, if it does it when you are leaving home, the cause could be separation anxiety.

Why does my dog hold clothes in its mouth?

Likely reasons why your dog holds clothes in its mouth are that it likes the feeling, it has learned that the behavior is rewarded, it is bringing them to you as a present or that it has learned that the behavior is rewarded.

Why does my dog hold blankets in its mouth?

Likely reasons why your dog holds blankets in its mouth are that it likes the feeling or that it has learned that doing so results in you giving it extra attention.

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.