Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Dogs > How to Stop a Dog from Tugging on Clothing (6 Tips)

How to Stop a Dog from Tugging on Clothing (6 Tips)

Dog tug cloth

Dogs are naturally hyperactive and playful, but sometimes their antics can be downright annoying. Sometimes, they might want to grab at clothes and tug on them, which can be a huge nuisance. Sometimes they may even end up ripping your favorite clothes.

Fortunately, you don’t have to put up with all the tugging, biting, and ripping. Here are several tips and tricks that you can employ to help stop your dog from tugging on your clothing.

divider-paw

The 6 Tips to Stop a Dog from Tugging on Clothing

1. Adopt Obedience Commands

One of the best ways to stop your dog from tugging on your clothes is to train them basic obedience commands, such as “sit” or “stay.” Whenever they lunge for your clothes, issue a firm, “No!” and use one of the obedience commands to get them to stop.

Be consistent in your training, and praise them when they obey.

Over time, your dog will learn that tugging on your clothes is unacceptable, and they’ll stop doing it altogether. In addition to obedience commands, you can also try using a leash or a no-pull harness when taking your dog for walks to discourage tugging behavior.

Dog tug cloth
Image Credit: Sue McDonald, Shutterstock

2. Provide Play Material

Your dog may be tugging on your clothes simply because they’re looking for something fun and stimulating to do. One way to prevent this from happening is to provide plenty of alternative play materials, such as chew toys, puzzle toys, and interactive games.

Giving your dog a choice of different activities to engage in will help keep them busy and entertained while also reducing the likelihood that they’ll want to tug on your clothes. To keep them even more stimulated, introduce new toys or games at various points throughout the day.


3. Find Your Dog a Playmate

In some cases, your dog may be tugging on your clothes simply because they’re bored or lonely. If this is the case, one simple solution could be to find them a playmate. Alternatively, you could consider adopting another dog to keep your current dog company. If that’s not an option, you might want to schedule regular playdates for your dog with other dogs in the neighborhood.

two dogs playing at the beach
Image Credit: Karsten Bergmann, Pixabay

4. Try Negative Reinforcement

This can involve using a spray bottle or loud noise to startle your dog whenever they begin tugging on your clothes. With time, they’ll learn that doing this is not acceptable and will stop the behavior. Just be sure to use negative reinforcement sparingly, as overusing it can actually have the opposite effect and make your dog more likely to tug on clothes.


5. Find a Replacement Activity

Sometimes dogs tug on their owners’ clothes out of excitement or to get attention. In these cases, the best way to stop the problem is to find a replacement activity for your dog. Try embracing the dog when you get home or try a quick game of fetch.

With a little time, your dog will no longer react to your coming back by pulling on clothes. Instead, they’ll wait for a pat on the head, a belly rub, or a quick game of fetch.

Dog tug cloth
Image Credit: Photo_mts, Shutterstock

6. Try a Leash or a No-Pull Harness

Dogs don’t discriminate, so don’t be surprised when they start tugging at your guests’ clothes when you have them over. If that’s the case and nothing else works, you should consider using a leash or a no-pull harness to discourage the behavior.

These tools will help keep your dog focused on you and prevent them from tugging at other people’s clothes. If your dog gets too excited, try training them to sit quietly when someone comes over so that they don’t get overexcited and start pulling on clothes.

divider-paw Final Thoughts

A playful dog is no doubt fun but there is no excuse for inappropriate behavior. As you have seen, there are lots of things you can do to stop your dog from tugging on your clothes. But don’t forget to be kind because your canine means no harm.


Featured Image Credit: CL Medien, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets