If your dog has been rubbing itself on your clothes a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do to get your dog to stop doing it.
So, why does my dog rub itself on my clothes? Possible reasons why your dog rubs itself on your clothes are that it likes the scent, it is marking its own scent, it likes the way it feels, separation anxiety or you might have inadvertently encouraged the behavior.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become a lot easier for you to get it to stop.
Why your dog rubs itself on your clothes
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog might be doing it and what would make them more likely.
It likes the scent
The cause might be that it likes the smell of the clothes. This would be more likely if it tends to roll in them at random times and if it also rolls on things with your scent on such as your bed or the area you tend to sit in.
It is marking its own scent
The reason why it does it could be that it is marking its scent onto your clothes. This would be more likely if it also does similar things around the house, it occasionally tries to urine mark around the house and if it can be very territorial when other dogs are near the house.
It likes the way it feels
An obvious reason why your dog might be doing it is that it might like how it feels. This would be more likely if it has not been doing it excessively and if it has not been behaving unusually in other ways as well.
The cause could be that it has some separation anxiety and the scent of your clothes makes it feel safer. This would be more likely if your dog tends to do it more when you are away or when you are leaving and if it starts showing signs of being anxious when you are leaving.
Encouraging the behavior
It might also be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged it to do it by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it rubs itself on your clothes, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started rubbing itself on my clothes
If your dog did not always rub itself on your clothes, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it started doing it suddenly, it would make it more likely to be due to things such as separation anxiety if you also started leaving it for longer periods.
If there is a certain time that it tends to do it more
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that your dog tends to do it. If it tends to do it when it sees you, it would make it more likely that it does it because it knows that you will reward the behavior in some way. Whereas, if it does it when you are leaving, it would make it more likely to be due to separation anxiety.
What to do about your dog rubbing itself on your clothes
Below are some things you can do in order to get your dog to stop doing it.
Avoid encouraging it
As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards for doing it. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is behaving the way you want it to, to avoid rewarding it when it starts rolling on your clothes and to try to redirect its focus when it seems likely to start doing it.
Avoid leaving your clothes lying around
It would also be an option to keep your clothes in different locations so that it is harder for it to roll on your clothes. But, it would still help to try to consider what might be causing it to do it.
Reduce its separation anxiety
Since it could be due to having some separation anxiety, it could help to take measures to reduce the possible reasons why it becomes anxious. Things to do would be to feed it, exercise it and let it pee before leaving.
Positive reinforcement training
One option would be to use positive reinforcement training to get your dog to lay somewhere else. Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage it to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way.
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