Why does your dog move blankets around?

Have you noticed that your pooch scooches or scratches around in blankets or clothes? It may seem odd and you wonder why they are doing this (especially when its on newly washed clothes or towels).

Digging, scratching, and moving their bedding around is a common behaviour among dogs but why is your dog is moving his or her blankets around so much? And is it something you should be worried about?

Where does this behaviour start?

A dog’s natural instinct plays a large role in many of their behaviors. Some experts feel this is the case when it comes to your pup moving and scratching at his or her blankets. One such instinct comes from your pup’s wild ancestor’s habit of scratching at piles of leaves, dirt, or pine needles. The act of moving the materials around is to create a comfortable mound of bedding. By moving his or her blankets around, your pup may actually be trying to create a snug nest in which to sleep. 

Another behavior you may have noticed with your pup is them acting territorial. By scratching at and moving their blankets, they may actually be marking his or her territory. When a dog scratches at something there is a distinct scent left behind. This is due to a special gland that is located on dog’s paws and in between their toes. Claiming territory is very common among both male and female dogs alike.

If you have a female dog, the act of moving blankets around could also be a maternal instinct. Female dogs do what is known as ‘nesting’ in order to get ready for new puppies. Your expectant mother may carry her blankets, dig at them over and over, and even drag them to another location. This is all in preparation for her new babies’ anticipated arrival and making sure there is somewhere nice and comfy to give birth. 

Should you encourage it?

You always want to make sure your pooch has a safe and comfy place to sleep. As long as there is nothing medical related causing issues letting them drag, scratch, or tunnel his or her blankets shouldn’t be a concern.

If you do decide to try and lessen the behavior, there are a few things you may consider.

One is to place a large, heavy blanket on top as the cover of your pup’s bedding. The heavier blanket on top may deter your dog from wanting to drag it around, especially for the smaller breed dogs. 

Adding more blankets may also be a solution. This creates a softer texture for your pooch to lay their precious little head when sleeping. If comfort is the issue, a thicker place to sleep could help Fido be able to relax more quickly without all of the extra effort. Being able to snuggle down into the cozy nest you have created may just satisfy their instinctual need for a den-type area.  The same holds true for your dog’s sleeping area. It may be that your pooch is just not happy with where you have put the dog bed. Moving their bed to another location could be a simple solution to the blanket moving and dragging.