Why Does My Dog Drag His Blanket Around?

Dog and cat under blanket

Dogs dragging their blankets around might look adorable, but it can sometimes get frustrating too. It can also stem from a reason that you might then need to take care of to make your dog comfortable.

Below, you can understand some potential reasons that might be leading to this kind of behavior as well as what you can do to deal with this.

Potential Reasons

There are numerous reasons that can help explain the behavior of dogs. This also applies to them dragging blankets around.

Let’s look into some causes below.

Instinct

One of the primary reasons for dogs dragging their blankets around is their instinct. Since many of them have their origins as hunting dogs or herding dogs, with most of them also having pack-based behavior and histories, they can express their instinctive patterns by dragging the blanket.

This is mainly because of the instinct of digging and scratching the ground and transporting leaves and sharp twigs away from their sleeping spot.

Marking Territory

Dogs dragging blankets and other parts of their bed around might also be a way for them to mark their territory. This can particularly happen if there are other dogs or pets around them.

Since dogs have glands in their paws that not only help them sweat but also emit a scent or odor that other animals can sense, they tend to scratch or move their blankets around to spread their scents and establish their own territories.

Nesting

If your dog is female and pregnant at the time, she might end up dragging and moving the blankets around. You can also notice other behaviors like scratching and circling around their beds.

This is another instinctive behavior that stems from finding a comfortable and safe spot where they can give birth and protect the new puppies. This essentially becomes a “nest” where they can create their own safe spot.

A similar dragging and burrowing instinct can be seen in males too, for finding a good resting spot.

Also Read: Why Does My Dog Sleep Between My Legs?

Temperature

It is possible that the temperature in the house might not suit your dog properly. They might either be feeling too hot or too cold, which can cause them to drag their blankets around until they find another spot to sleep.

This might create problems at times, especially if they get on your bed or in another restricted spot. For this reason, it is important to regulate the temperature so that your dog does not freeze or become overwhelmed or stressed in the heat.

Comfort

Your dogs might simply not be comfortable in their beds. Apart from the temperature, some other reasons that can result in discomfort include rough textures of the bed or blankets or even some sharp or solid objects stuck in the bed.

This can cause them to move their blankets around to get rid of the cause or make themselves more comfortable.

Playfulness

If your dogs are feeling playful, energetic and mischievous, dragging their blankets around might be a way of indicating their excitement and releasing some of their energy. They might want to tug the blanket to play around or they might be goofing around with your other pets or family members.

There might be other signs alongside this that might indicate that their behavior is merely stemming from playfulness. For instance, they could be wagging their tails or making sounds.

Attention

Your dogs might want your attention for some reason or the other. If they are hungry or it is time for you to give them their meals, they might drag their blankets around as a way of communicating this need.

They might also want to play with you or cuddle with you. If there is another reason, such as their discomfort, pain or an indication that they want to pee or poop, they might rely on this behavior.

Imitation

Many dogs go on to learn and absorb new behaviors. If there are other older dogs in your house or any other pet that they have noticed carrying out this behavior, they might start forming an association in their minds, especially if this behavior ends with a reward.

Sometimes, they might imitate it simply out of curiosity. It is only once they make a connection of a reward that they might repeat this.

Fear

In rare cases, dogs dragging their blankets around might also stem from fear of some kind. For instance, if there is a person or animal around them that they are afraid of, they might try to move their beds or relieve their stress by dragging the blankets and chewing on them.

Previous traumatic experiences can also result in this. Your dogs might also have separation anxiety, causing them to exhibit destructive and chaotic behavior.

Also Read: Why Do Dogs Lick Blankets?

How to Deal with This Behavior

Dogs dragging their blankets around is not necessarily indicative of poor behavior or an underlying issue, but identifying the cause can help you move on to figuring out how to deal with it.

Take a look at some steps you can take.

Let It Be

If your dogs are carrying this kind of dragging behavior due to their instinct or because of nesting, you should simply let them be. If they are trying to adjust themselves to make themselves comfortable, you should let them carry this out.

Chances are that this behavior will stop on its own once your dogs are done for the time being. This reason is also quite harmless.

Make Your Dog Comfortable

You should try making your dog as comfortable and safe as possible in your house. Feed them on time and give them enough attention so that they do not always rely on dragging the blanket to seek your attention.

You should also adjust the temperature, provide enough blankets and keep your dogs warm without overheating them. Opt for soft beds too.

Train Your Dog

In case the issue is more severe, you will need to provide training to your dog to rid them of this behavior. For instance, if they are marking their territories and also becoming aggressive, you should use positive reinforcement to help them obey your commands and repeat what they learn.

You will also need to train your dog out of their separation anxiety and trauma. You can either do this yourself or hire a professional trainer to help you out.

Never punish your dog or use aversion tactics since this could make them more fearful and anxious. Throughout the process, you will need to remain patient since this might take some time to establish.

Visit the Vet

Often, your dogs might move their blankets around and scratch them or chew them if they have an underlying health issue. Pain, wounds or injuries can result in this too.

In this case, especially if there seems to be no other cause, you should take your dog to the vet.

Also Read: Why Do Dogs Burrow In Blankets?

Summing Up

Dogs mainly tend to drag their blankets around due to their instinct of circling around until they feel comfortable. They might also do this to mark their territory, nest, find a good temperature or simply because they are feeling playful and want your attention.

You can either let them be (if not excessive), or you can help make them comfortable, provide training or visit the vet if you suspect a health issue.