Hiding under the bed is a common behavior among many dogs, even more so on puppies. Why do they do it? Like many other canine behaviors, there’s no straightforward answer to this. Rather, there are only possible reasons as to why they keep hiding. Thankfully, it’s usually a harmless behavior. For example, your pooch may be hiding under the bed because he finds it a comfortable spot to relax and sleep.
Dogs are den animals. Thus, small, contained spaces make them feel safe and help them relax easier. But is that it? Are there any reasons why this keeps on happening to your dog even when he’s grown?
To resolve his hiding behavior, it’s crucial to know why he does this in the first place. Doing so is the best way you can approach the situation. And so, here are the possible explanations for such behavior and its corresponding solution:
Reason 1: Your dog wants his personal space.
The majority of dogs hide under a bed or anything out of sight because they feel that these areas are their personal space. It’s their little fort to relax in and stay hidden from others. It may also be because dogs find permanence and comfort in a bed. Unlike a chair or mat that can be easily moved, dogs can depend on certain locations that remain unchanged.
Solution: Offer him a comfort zone. Does he sleep when he’s under the bed? Maybe he likes the darkness underneath the bed. Try recreating a similar spot in your house. For instance, a kennel or crate with a soft bed and blanket can be a great place for your pooch to unwind.
Reason 2: Your dog is afraid.
Has your dog witnessed something scary? It might be the reason he’s hiding under the bed. Anything from the sound of the vacuum or fireworks might scare your pup.
Solution: Divert his attention by giving him treats and praises when he’s afraid. After enough repetition, your dog would soon associate the things he fears with good things, namely, treats. Also, calm your dog down using a soft noise. Afterwhich, remove him from the environment. Ideally, get your dog somewhere safe and far from the source of fear.
Reason 3: Your dog is ill or injured.
Dogs that aren’t feeling well might find a place to hide. If hiding under the bed is out of character for your dog, take a closer look to ensure if he’s injured or feeling ill.
Solution: If you notice any sign of illness or injury, such as lethargy or loss of appetite, don’t hesitate to visit your veterinarian to assess the situation further. Your vet can run tests to determine if anything is wrong and treat his condition.
Reason 4: Your dog is stressed
A dog under stress may need to go under the bed to deal with his anxiety. Do you have a new pet? It could be your dog’s stressor. Or has he had a recent traumatic experience? The loss of a family member or a pet can also cause anxiety.
Solution: Give him some time to adjust to whatever is bothering him. You can consult with your vet if he keeps on hiding under the bed. Your vet may prescribe medication to treat his anxiety.
If you truly want your dog to stop spending so much time under the bed, the best method is to train him to perform a different behavior. If he lays under the bed, ignore him. But when he lies down on a rug or mat, reward him with a treat. Keep doing this until your pooch changes his behavior. The whole idea here is to ignore any behavior you dislike and reward what you want.
A hiding dog can be due to many reasons. Follow those tips above based on the situation that best applies to your dog. On another note, if you feel that your dog feels the most comfortable under the bed and sees it as a nice place to snooze, then it’s best to leave him alone. Blocking her access would only cause her unnecessary anxiety. Give him the space to feel comfortable.