Why Does My Dog Drag His Blanket Around? (34 Reasons)

As many owners may see, their dog is seemingly obsessed with their blanket.

However, this obsession often causes people to wonder why dogs drag blankets around the house.

There are a number of reasons for this behavior, so read on to find out!

34 Reasons Explained

1. Pure boredom

Some dogs, like Boxers, seem to be bored all the time. This is especially true when there are other dogs around; their constant panting and searching for attention can make their owners feel like they never have enough to do!

Some dogs will do anything to get attention. Some dogs take comfort from the familiarity of a blanket.

If you have a dog that’s just bored, they may be dragging their blanket around because they know it will get mom or dad to come play with them or pay attention to them.

2. The smell of the blanket comforts him

During his childhood, a dog’s life can be very stressful.

For example, an owner might move their dog to a new environment and suddenly a strange smell can keep him from being comfortable.

Some dogs may even start barking and pacing if this occurs as they are simply trying to find out what is making them ill or scared.

For some dogs, the smell of their owner or the familiar smell of their bed may be comforting to them.

Since dogs often associate blankets with sleep, snuggling close to it may help them feel relaxed and secure.

3. It’s a toy or comfort item

Many dogs feel lonely and are seeking attention or they want to play with you.

They’ll drag the blanket around as they chase it, then lie down and chew on it.

This is by far the most common reason that dogs drag a blanket around.

There’s evidence that dogs are actually trying to communicate with people through this act.

It appears that they’re showing us how much they want attention and are feeling lonely if they drag the blanket around

4. He is training you to bring him his blanket

Dogs can be very frustrating! If a dog always wants his blanket, why does he wait until you are about to leave the house to ask for it?

This is because dogs view human interaction as a kind of game, and they enjoy training their owners.

Dogs will confuse their owners just so that they can be rewarded with the blanket.

Newfoundlands are especially famous for this kind of behavior; they often will walk around calmly until their owner leaves, at which point they start throwing a fit until the owner gives them what they want!

5. His blanket is his safe place

Dogs are natural pack animals and like all of us, seek safety in numbers.

They often choose a designated “blanket” spot as somewhere to feel safe and secure; this is often an area in which the dog can see everyone in the family and feels he has standing.

6. Maybe starting a new routine

Many dogs will change their behavior if they begin a new routine.

For example, if you have told the dog you are going to take him for his bath at 7:00, but then you decide that it’s not such a great idea, he might decide that this is when he wants his blanket!

To ensure that your dog gets what he wants, make sure that your plan is firm and consistent!

7. Is feeling stressed and anxious

If a dog is not comfortable with the place he is in, he may begin dragging around his blanket.

This is because he will feel much more comfortable if he can have his blanket present; depending on the nature of his blanket, this comfort can be quite strong.

8. To nest during cold weather

While people generally associate this behavior to dogs who live outdoors, many indoor dogs develop a similar attachment to their blankets during the winter season.

This is because these dogs feel the temperature change acutely and they struggle to keep warm.

9. To feel safe and secure

As stated above, there are some dogs who like to have a blanket present at all times simply to ensure that they are comfortable.

This is especially true with dogs who live with their owners in apartments or other areas where there are few places available for them to “mark as their own.”

Some dogs will even become territorial if someone else tries to take their blanket away!

10. For attention or because of sensitivity to owner’s moods

Some owners connect the behavior of dragging around the blanket with a desire for extra attention.

For many breeds, like Labs, this is a positive response; however, dogs with needy personalities are not usually satisfied with the attention they receive.

11. He may feel ignored

Because they enjoy close contact with people, many dogs will become frustrated if others in the family ignore them or ignore the blanket as well!

For example, if a dog decides that you are ignoring him and he has his blanket nearby to comfort him, he may cry or whine for attention from you.

Whether or not this is true will depend on your level of interaction with your dog; however, it can be troublesome if it causes him to develop separation anxiety.

12. Lack of exercise

Dogs who are not getting enough exercise or sufficient mental stimulation can become bored and frustrated quickly in their everyday lives.

Getting a walk and a game of fetch can help greatly to prevent this from happening. Dogs should always have plenty of opportunities to be active!

13. Removed from normal sleeping space to another location, and he now sees it as his new security marker?

If you don’t want your dog taking his blanket everywhere with him, you will need to make sure that it is returned to its rightful place!

This is often where the dog slept before; however, if your dog has been sleeping somewhere else this could be upsetting all on its own.

14. There may be an odor associated with the blanket that calms him

If a particular smell on the blanket is associated with a calming experience, the dog may Associate that smell with being safe.

15. He may be missing his person

When a dog loses its blanket, there can be much confusion. Since the dog already associates the blanket with his owner, he may feel like he has lost you as well.

16. It helps him to know where his limits are

When a dog is wearing a blanket, he does not need to smell other dogs and people as often to confirm his “pack” status.

This makes him feel more secure in his world and some dogs will love knowing that they have their own little territory.

17. To hide from scary noises and smells outside, or from another dog inside?

When a dog feels threatened or is confused about what is going on, it may use its blanket as a security blanket.

18. Because he is ill, and his blanket gives him a reason to keep fighting

Some dogs will develop a strong desire to keep their blanket or other items close to them during times of illness.

They may do this by dragging the item around with them as they “sleep” or they may hold onto it for comfort.

This behavior is true even if the illness is one that does not cause pain or discomfort!

19. To build a nest, similar to nesting behavior in humans?

For some dogs, carrying a blanket is just a byproduct of the nest-building instinct.

20. A dog might simply be using it as a way to grab your attention, and make you play with him more.

This behavior is particularly true of dogs who have behavioral problems that cause them to act in ways that are less than acceptable.

Because the blanket can be a hassle, some dogs will use it in order to get your attention if they are bored or want to play with you!

21. It can serve as a comfort from separation anxiety

It can become almost impossible for a dog to remain in his own home if he becomes too anxious when left alone.

There are some dogs who will become so stressed out that any kind of blanket that you leave for them will no longer be enough!

22. To help him feel more comfortable with his surroundings

An indoor dog may feel much more comfortable if he has a certain scent from home present.

This is especially true for dogs who have been moved to a new house or area!

23. It gives your dog a sense of security and comfort to know that he has his own soft space, even if he will only lie on it for a few seconds.

A dog who is even slightly disoriented can feel more secure by developing an attachment to something.

This is especially true of dogs who have been rescued from abusive homes or other negative situations.

Many times these dogs find their comfort in the smallest things, like blankets or items of clothing, which made them feel safe in their original home!

24. He may be too hot or too cold

When a dog is not feeling well, he may experience bouts of either hyperthermia or hypothermia.

The first thing that happens is that they become unable to regulate their own body temperature.

This can lead to a host of health issues including organ damage and even death!

If your dog is extremely hot or cold, you should take him immediately to an animal hospital after calling your vet!

Some use blankets and other items as part of the treatment; however, most find these items are only useful for short term use while symptoms are still present.

Consult your vet about what is best for your individual dog!

25. To stimulate his brain

Dogs who have high intelligence often use their blankets to stimulate their brain.

These dogs will often be very curious about what is going on and may sniff at, chew, or even drag around any objects that they find interesting.

26. To hide or to feel comfortable?

Dogs will often use blankets in this way because they want to feel safe and protected from the world.

Since the blanket is close to and around them this helps them achieve their goal of comfort!

27. To help them recover faster from a surgery or illness

Just like humans, dogs who are sick or injured may experience pain or discomfort; however, they can also encounter additional stress and anxiety.

To help prevent this stress, many dogs will use a blanket to calm them down and distract themselves from their pain and illness.

28. Because it is a way to hide from people

Just like many humans who feel ashamed for past mistakes, dogs may do the same thing.

The blanket might be a reminder of something that they have done which they are embarrassed about. This can cause them to want to hide from other people!

29. A dog may decide that his blanket is the best sleeping space ever!

Dogs who enjoy their blankets often will use it as both their favorite toy and their favorite bed!

They may get extremely comfortable and fall asleep on top of or under the blanket.

This is also true when a dog has not been able to find an actual bed that he likes more than his blanket.

30. A dog may not want his blanket because he loves it, but because he doesn’t like the other bedding that has been provided to him.

Most dogs will love being in bed just as much as humans do.

However, it is common for a dog to have bad reactions to the bedding that they are given.

If a dog has been taught to hate certain patterns or smells, he may just not like the other materials that were used.

31. It could be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive behavior is extremely common in dogs of all types of breeds and sizes.

Dogs who have this kind of behavior may develop an obsessive need to pick up things and put them away, or be terrified of going into certain rooms, such as the laundry room and bathrooms.

Dogs who suffer from OCD may also develop a strong attachment to their blankets in order to help reduce some of the stress that they are developing from it.

32. It could be a way for them to feel more secure during thunderstorms and other loud noises

Dogs who live in houses with wood floors can often hear every creak that is made.

This results in them developing extreme levels of anxiety and fear because they worry that someone is going to come into the house!

This can then result in a strong attachment to their blanket to help deal with the fear.

33. To help them know their territory better

Dogs who are especially territorial will sometimes develop a strong sense of ownership over their blankets if they have been in their home for a long time.

They may also begin marking objects in order to clear out the smell of other dogs.

34. They may like it because of the scent that they think it possesses

Dogs who have been given a blanket as a gift will often find comfort in the smell that they recognize as being associated with home.

Their nose is different than ours and they can smell new things very well!

If your dog is unfamiliar with a particular scent, be aware that he may not like it!

Final Thoughts

No matter how your dog feels about his blanket, just know that it is a good thing that he has developed an attachment to something.

This attachment will keep him healthy and safe during some of the most difficult times of his life!

References

ASPCA

Wikipedia

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