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Why Does My Dog Roll Around in My Dirty Clothes


Why Does My Dog Roll Around in My Dirty Clothes?

If you’ve ever caught your dog rolling around in your dirty laundry, you may be wondering why they engage in this peculiar behavior. While it may seem strange, there are several reasons why dogs exhibit this behavior. Here are a few possible explanations:

1. Scent marking: Dogs have a keen sense of smell, and rolling in your dirty clothes may be their way of marking their territory. By transferring their scent onto your clothes, they are claiming ownership and leaving their mark.

2. Comfort and familiarity: Your dog finds comfort in your scent, and rolling in your dirty clothes may provide them with a sense of security. The familiar smell of your clothing can be soothing to them, especially when they are feeling anxious or stressed.

3. Attention-seeking behavior: Dogs may roll in your dirty clothes to capture your attention. If they notice you react or engage with them when they engage in this behavior, they may repeat it to gain your focus or playfulness.

4. Natural instincts: Rolling in strong-smelling substances, including dirty laundry, is a behavior inherited from their wild ancestors. It is believed that wild canines would roll in strong odors to mask their own scent while hunting or to communicate with other pack members.

5. Exploring scents: Dogs are curious creatures, and rolling in dirty laundry allows them to explore new scents. The various smells found in your clothes can be intriguing to them, and rolling around is their way of investigating and experiencing these scents.

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6. Reinforcement: If your dog has received attention or playtime in the past after rolling in your dirty clothes, they may associate this behavior with positive reinforcement. As a result, they continue to engage in this behavior to seek attention or rewards.

7. Playfulness: Rolling in your dirty clothes may simply be a form of play for your dog. Dogs often engage in playful behaviors that appear odd to us, and rolling in laundry could be their way of having fun or releasing energy.

8. Comfort and warmth: Dirty clothes may retain your scent and body heat, making them more appealing to your dog as a cozy spot for relaxation. Rolling around in your clothes can provide them with a warm and comforting sensation.


1. Is it harmful if my dog rolls in dirty clothes?
No, rolling in dirty clothes is generally harmless unless the clothing contains any toxic substances or sharp objects.

2. How can I discourage this behavior?
Store your dirty clothes in a hamper with a lid or keep them out of your dog’s reach to prevent access. Providing your dog with alternative outlets for exploration and play can also help redirect their behavior.

3. Can rolling in dirty clothes indicate a health issue?
In some cases, excessive rolling or unusual behavior around dirty clothes may indicate a skin condition or allergies. If you notice any changes in your dog’s skin or behavior, consult with a veterinarian.

4. Can I use scents to deter my dog from rolling in dirty clothes?
Some dogs may be deterred by certain scents, such as citrus or vinegar. Experiment with scents that your dog finds unpleasant and apply them to your clothes to discourage rolling.

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5. Should I scold my dog for rolling in dirty clothes?
Scolding or punishing your dog can create confusion and anxiety. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and redirect their behavior towards more appropriate activities.

6. Is rolling in dirty clothes a sign of submission?
While rolling in strong scents can be a submissive behavior, rolling in dirty clothes is more commonly associated with marking territory or seeking comfort.

7. Can this behavior be trained out of my dog?
With consistent training and redirection, it is possible to minimize or discourage this behavior. However, some dogs may continue to engage in it occasionally.

8. Is rolling in dirty clothes a sign of boredom?
Dogs may engage in rolling behaviors when bored or lacking mental stimulation. Ensuring your dog receives sufficient exercise, playtime, and mental enrichment can help alleviate boredom-related behaviors.

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