Why Do Dogs Like to Lick Your Underwear?

We aren`t the only creatures with strange behaviors on this Earth – dogs have many unusual habits too.

dog licking panties
Source: ShutterStock.com

From licking their owner`s underwear to chasing their tails, our pooches make us laugh or keep up puzzled rather often.

Our canine companions are known for their licking habits. They`ll try to lick just about anything, not just underwear.

Still, should abnormal canine behavior be a laughing matter? Well, not if you really love your furry friend, right?

Why Do Dogs Like to Lick Your Underwear?

Canines frequently greet their close ones with a nose pointed right to their crotch. We, humans, have sweat glands in that area of the body that produce pheromones. (Stregowski, 2022)

Generally speaking, used underwear has a very powerful concentrated odor from these glands. (“Dog Licking Underwear: Is He Being Creepy?! the TRUTH Revealed”, 2022)

Our little fella`s can learn quite a lot from someone just by smelling them. Obviously, we can use the same logic when it comes to licking underwear. (Stregowski, 2022)

Here are some of the most basic reasons for which your dog may be interested in your underwear:

  • Pica syndrome
  • Inappropriate physical activity
  • Seeking attention
  • Love & affection
  • Teething
  • Weaning
  • Idleness

(“Why Do Dogs Eat Underwear? [9 Reasons] – Oodle Life”, 2022)

Why Do Dogs Like the Smell of Dirty Underwear?

Our little friends are predisposed to go for things such as underwear and socks just because of this strong marker of their close ones` scent. (Coyne, 2022)

Every human being has a unique scent. According to Homan (2022), underwear is a clothing item that is always worn close to the skin; obviously, they contain potent scents which for a dog is a reminder of their owner.

Once your pooch has found your underwear, they might try and lick or chew their fabrics as an exploration attempt. Although it may sound repulsive as that may sound, your little pal may actually enjoy their taste or smell. (Stregowski, 2022)

Why Is My Dog Obsessed with My Underwear?

You may ask yourself what motivates your canine companion so much to be so drawn by your underwear.

As we stated above, the real motivation will come from the fact that their owner`s strong scent is there, which is a unique scent for them. Another reason could be that underwear represents an item that is very easy to chew. (Johnstone, 2022)

Obviously, the concept won`t be limited to underwear but to other clothing items, blankets, and so on – pretty everything where that scent is located. (Oelze, 2022)

why do dogs like to lick your underwear
Source: ShutterStock.com

How to Make Your Dog Not to Lick Underwear?

Unfortunately, training your little pal not to lick underwear won`t involve one single command. Actually, it takes special equipment and some real preparation.

Also, this being a real-world behavior, your dog`s training should occur in the setting where your dog`s behavior would typically take place. (Maciejewski, 2022)

Let`s go over a few simple steps that you could use to turn your little pal around from this bad behavior.

  • Step 1: Take away the underwear when you catch them and replace it with one of their favorite chew toys. Use a firm “No” command when doing so!
  • Step 2: Don`t let your underwear under your dog`s reach anymore. A good defense can make the best offense, and it should be hard to put things away from the little fella` if your dog is small. (Ryan, 2022)
  • Step 3: Instead of punishing your little friend, use positive reinforcement as a substitute. Toys and games will always keep your dog occupied from becoming annoying and grabbing stuff they shouldn`t grab. Also, don`t forget to reward your little one when stopping any unwanted behavior. (“Why Does My Dog Eat My Underwear? Here’s How to Stop It”, 2022)
  • Step 4: Playing and exercising with your canine is “a must.” Take them for walks in the park and play various games to burn out all that extra energy. (Ryan, 2022)

Training your dog will help you take control over their licking/eating habit of underwear. (Stregowski, 2022) However, there are steps to be taken and time to spend to accomplish this, so don`t lose your hope just yet!

What Does Science Say About Dogs & Scents?

Did you know that our canine companions have a specific organ right up their nose known as Jacobson`s organ or the vomeronasal organ? (Lam, 2022)

According to Kokocińska-Kusiak et al. (2021), the olfactory system of a dog is able to recognize more scents than the actual number of olfactory receptors they have. However, scent receptors may have particular cross-reactions, creating rather unique systems of patterns linked to distinct odors.

Noses might not speak, but they communicate quite a lot of information to a dog. The chemical scents “tell” a canine what they like to eat. They are also able to recognize mood or gender. (Llera & Buzhardt, 2022)

A canine`s smell sense is in the top 1% of all animals; if you let a blind Labrador loose, they`ll come back with a bird – if there`s one around. (Keer, 2022)

Final Word

We came today to visit us with a specific question in your mind: “why do dogs like to lick your underwear?”

We hope we managed to offer you a satisfying answer to your inquiry as well as to some other related ones.

The good news is that most pups will eventually outgrow their obsession with your laundry. However, don`t worry! They may also develop some new ones.

Reference List:

Coyne, A. (2022). Why Does My Dog Eat My Underwear?. K9 of Mine. Retrieved 3 October 2022, from https://www.k9ofmine.com/why-dog-eats-underwear/.

Dog Licking Underwear: Is He Being Creepy?! the TRUTH Revealed. Woof & Beyond. (2022). Retrieved 3 October 2022, from https://www.woofandbeyond.com/why-your-dog-licks-your-underwear/.

Homan, J. (2022). Why Is My Dog Eating My Underwear | How to Fix the Problem. The Pet Friendly House. Retrieved 6 October 2022, from https://www.petfriendlyhouse.com/why-is-my-dog-eating-my-underwear/.

Johnstone, G. (2022). Why Does My Dog Chew On My Underwear and Socks?. American Kennel Club. Retrieved 4 October 2022, from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/why-does-my-dog-chew-on-my-underwear-and-socks/.

Kokocińska-Kusiak, A., Woszczyło, M., Zybala, M., Maciocha, J., Barłowska, K., & Dzięcioł, M. (2021). Canine Olfaction: Physiology, Behavior, and Possibilities for Practical Applications. Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(8), 2463. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082463

Keer, T. (2022). The Science of Canine Scent – Gun Dog. Gun Dog Magazine – Gun Dog. Retrieved 7 October 2022, from https://www.gundogmag.com/editorial/science-canine-scent/464555.

Lam, A. (2022). Why Does My Dog Lick My Underwear? 10 Reasons! (2022) – We Love Doodles. We Love Doodles. Retrieved 8 October 2022, from https://welovedoodles.com/why-does-my-dog-lick-my-underwear/.

Llera, R., & Buzhardt, L. (2022). How Dogs Use Smell to Perceive the World | VCA Animal Hospital. VCA Animal Hospital. Retrieved 7 October 2022, from https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/how-dogs-use-smell-to-perceive-the-world.

Maciejewski, K. (2022). How to Train Your Dog to Not Eat Underwear. Wag!. Retrieved 6 October 2022, from https://wagwalking.com/training/not-eat-underwear.

Oelze, P. (2022). Why Dogs Like Dirty Underwear – Wag!. Wagwalking.com. Retrieved 4 October 2022, from https://wagwalking.com/behavior/why-dogs-like-dirty-underwear.

Ryan, T. (2022). How to Make a Little Dog Stop Eating Underwear. Dog Care – Daily Puppy. Retrieved 6 October 2022, from https://dogcare.dailypuppy.com/make-little-dog-stop-eating-underwear-1223.html.

Stregowski, J. (2022). Why Does My Dog Eat My Underwear?. The Spruce Pets. Retrieved 2 October 2022, from https://www.thesprucepets.com/why-your-dog-eats-your-underwear-5204193.

Why Do Dogs Eat Underwear? [9 Reasons] – Oodle Life. Oodle Life. (2022). Retrieved 8 October 2022, from https://www.oodlelife.com/why-do-dogs-eat-underwear/.

Why Does My Dog Eat My Underwear? Here’s How to Stop It. World Dog Finder. (2022). Retrieved 6 October 2022, from https://worlddogfinder.com/blog/training/why-do-dogs-eat-underwear.

Similar Posts