Why Do Dogs Hide Under the Bed?

by Perfect Puppy Care on November 23, 2011

Hiding

Whether it’s storming outside, or sunny and quiet, dogs will sometimes be seen hiding under the bed, the couch, the table, or any number of things. Sometimes the reason is obvious, while other times it is less so. The question still remains of why do dogs under hide things such as the bed?

The most common reason a dog will hide under the bed is because they are afraid. Sometimes when there is a thunderstorm outside, they will hide under the bed in order to try to protect themselves. Whether it is to protect themselves from the noise itself or from a perceived threat is unclear, but they are hiding because they are afraid.

Sometimes it is because they are afraid of an upcoming event. As it is commonly believed that dogs and other animals are more sensitive to the weather changes than we are, they are sensing the thunderstorm and are hiding in preparation.

It is also possible that they are hiding under the bed because they are afraid to get hurt. Especially if they are a shelter dog that was abused previously, they will hide under the bed because they see it as safe. Even if you have given them no reason to believe that you will hurt them, past incidents can cause triggers in their mind that if you say, drop a pan, they will become scared.

There could also be other dogs around that they are afraid of, whether because of the specific dog and it’s actions, or previous interactions with other dogs. If a dog is used to getting into fights with other dogs, and losing, then they will be afraid of the smell of another dog. Again, this behavior is common in some shelter dogs that were abused, and even if the dog that they smell is not a threat to them, it will take some time for them to get used to it.

If you believe that your dog is hiding under furniture because of past abuse, then time and patience are the only ways to get this behavior out of the dog. Training for this behavior usually involves positive reinforcement techniques, including treats.

Some dogs, however, are sometimes just nervous for no particular reason. Just as some people are anxious for no reason, so are some dogs. Anxiety disorders in dogs are relatively common, especially in some smaller breeds. While separation anxiety is the most common cause of anxiety in dogs, noise anxiety and social anxiety would also be reasons for this behavior. If you are concerned that your dog has anxiety, treatment is available depending on the severity. For mild cases, training is the most effective method, while severe cases sometimes require medication.

If you are not concerned that it is long term anxiety, and you have just moved to a new house, the dog may just be staying where it is familiar until it gets adjusted to the house. It may be anxious about being in a new house that likely has an abundance of smells that we can’t detect. Whether it is another dog that lived there before, or an unpleasant smell of household cleaner, they may only be hiding under the furniture for a short time until they get adjusted.

While the most common reason for a dog to hide under a bed or other furniture is fear, it is also possible that the dog may be hiding under the furniture as part of play. This is especially true if you have another pet and the dog likes to chase after them. They may be under the bed or couch because they were chasing after that pet and gave up while under there or they are lying in wait of their playmate (which may at times include your feet).

If it is usually tables and the couch that your dog is hiding under and not your bed, then the dog may be hoping to get your table scraps. If the dog is hiding under where you eat even when you’re not eating, they’re hoping that something will fall regardless. Whether they made the connection of food with you or with the table may depend on how smart the dog is and how they get their table scraps.

It is also possible that your dog may simply find it more comfortable under there. Especially if you have comfortable carpets, some dogs may like having something over their head when they go to sleep. If your dog enjoys sleeping under your bed or tables and it isn’t because they are scared or in a playful mood, it could be because they find it comfortable.

There are a few reasons that your dog is hiding under your furniture. It is usually because they are afraid. Whether it is a legitimate fear, a perceived threat or triggered from past abuse, fear is the most common reason.

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