Why Does My Dog Nibble on My Clothes?

Cute small dog nibbling on owner's trousers

Teething, a preference for your fragrance, boredom, the taste, or having learned that the behavior is rewarded are all possible reasons for your dog to nibble your clothes. There are a variety of approaches that may be used to curb your dog’s nibbling inclinations.

If your dog is constantly nibbling on your clothing, you might be asking why this is happening and what you can do to stop it. This article will explain the most prevalent reasons why dogs do this, as well as what you can do to prevent it from happening in the future. Let’s get into it!

Why Your Dog Might Be Nibbling Your Clothes

Your dog might be acting in this manner for a variety of reasons, or it could be the result of a combination of factors. 

Listed below are various plausible reasons and the factors that would make each of them more likely to be the primary cause.


Your dog may have been chewing on something due to its teething troubles.

The likelihood of this occurring is higher if the dog is a puppy, if the behavior has begun quickly, and if the dog has been nibbling on a variety of different objects. It might be beneficial to provide it with something else to gnaw on in this instance.

Positive reinforcement of negative behavior

Another possibility is that your dog has learned that it will receive positive reinforcement if it chews on your clothes.

If you tend to reward it with things like more attention, toys, or sweets when it chews your clothes, it will most likely continue to do so to reap even more benefits from your actions.


Part of the explanation may be because your dog is bored and seeking something to do to keep itself entertained. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when it hasn’t had any physical activity.

It would assist the issue to ensure that it can acquire the daily amount of activity required for its age and breed, which would be beneficial for many reasons.

It enjoys the flavor

A weird taste will most likely emanate from your garments as a result of the accumulation of dead skin cells and perspiration that has accumulated on their surface.

Your dog may chew on your clothes because it likes the taste of the fabric itself.

Separation anxiety

Your dog may have been chewing on your clothing because they help settle it down while you’re not there to supervise.

This is more plausible if your dog only appears to be doing it while you are not around, such as when you are preparing to leave home, rather than all of the time.

How to Determine the Reasons for Your Dog’s Nibbling on Your Clothes

There are several considerations to keep in mind when trying to figure out why your dog has been acting in this manner. In addition to that, what else happened when it initially started doing it?

If your dog didn’t always gnaw on your garments, it would be beneficial to evaluate what else was going on when it first started doing so.

Suppose it started doing it all of a sudden. In that case, it might be due to various factors, including learning that the behavior is rewarded, teething, or anything else that was causing it to feel worried.

When is your dog nibbling?

It would also be beneficial to consider the time of day when it is most likely to chew on your clothes. If it tends to do it more frequently during a given time of day, it’s possible that the timing has something to do with the behavior.

If your dog chews on your clothes as you leave the house, it is more likely to be caused by factors such as separation anxiety than anything else.

If, on the other hand, it does it more frequently while you are not paying attention to it, it may be doing it because it anticipates that doing so would result in you paying attention to it.

The body language that is displayed

Another element to take into consideration is the body language that is displayed.

Suppose it exhibits signals of enthusiasm, such as wagging its tail. In that case, it is more likely to result from the excitement and the realization that the behavior might be rewarded in the future.

When it exhibits indications of anxiety-like pacing, weeping, or shaking, it is more probable that it is doing so due to something that makes it worried.

The Best Way to Prevent Your Dog from Nibbling Your Clothes

When dealing with the behavior, the alternatives listed below are some of your possibilities.

It is best not to encourage it

As previously said, the animal may have learned that the behavior is rewarded and has become accustomed to it.

Instead, it would be beneficial to reward it when it behaves in the manner you want it to and prevent rewarding it when it does not act in this manner.

Redirect its attention

Another thing you might do is to divert its attention away from your clothing anytime it appears to be about to start chewing on it. Toys, a bone, or a task to accomplish are all examples of things that may be used to divert your dog’s attention.

It would be beneficial to attempt to refocus its attention before it begins acting. Otherwise, it may learn that the behavior is rewarded.

Pay close attention to it throughout the day

Providing it with attention throughout the day will also make it less inclined to engage in behaviors that will garner further attention from you. 

Exercise, training, petting, and playing with it are all examples of ways to show it you care about him.

Reduce the number of reasons why it could be concerned

It would also assist narrowing down the range of plausible causes for it to be nervous. The best way to accomplish this would be to make sure that the room it is staying in is cool and quiet and has a place to lay down.

It would also be beneficial to allow it to go to the bathroom, eat, and get some exercise before leaving the house.

Provide it with distractions

It will also be beneficial to provide items to keep it occupied, especially if it appears to be teething. Toys, chews, and bones are some of the things you may provide.


Your dog could be nibbling on your clothes for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to; teething, a preference for your fragrance, boredom, the taste, or having learned that the behavior is rewarded.

There are several methods to negate your dog’s nibbling, including not encouraging it, redirecting, distracting, and giving your dog more attention.

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