That sound from some movement under your bed, something breathing and shuffling around as if trying to get comfortable down there. You cautiously approach the source of the noise, is it a rodent? What can it be? Then you recognize that nose. It’s just your dog trying to make herself comfortable under your bed. From the look of things, it seems your dog has been doing this for some time, and from the looks of things, it might be hard to get her to stop doing this which begs the question.
Why does my dog go under the bed?
A good understanding of the possible reasons why your dog has started hiding under your bed will put you in a better position to make the right decision on whether to allow your dog to continue this newfound habit or not.
So, the reasons why your dog goes under your bed are:
- Your dog is scared
- Your dog is not feeling well.
- Your dog is hiding something there.
- Your dog is looking for something.
- Your dog wants his or her own private place.
- Your dog is under stress.
Now let’s address each of them.
1.Your dog is scared.
You may have observed your dog taking off when a loud noise like heavy machinery or truck passes by your home. He or she may also take off when strangers come into your house, just to settle in under your bed. The simple reason why your dog would act this way is that your dog is scared. He or she races off to hide under your bed because he or she believes that under your bed would be the safest place at that moment.
To deal with this problem, you will need to desensitize your dog to the noise trigger and recondition your dog to be at ease around people. This you can do using some positive reinforcement techniques.
Let’s use these examples, for dogs scared of loud noises like trucks, you can start by playing truck sounds at a low volume of course. Doing this will begin to recondition your dog that nothing is wrong with this sound. You reinforce that the sound comes with good things by giving them treats and petting them. As time goes, you gradually increase the volume till it will be loud and your dog would not bother or be scared because the same sound is now linked to positive things.
For strangers coming into your house, you can plan with your friends so that they come with treats in hand. Your dog seeing the treat would likely be distracted for enough time for your friends to give them some of these treats. Having this happen often with strangers would change your dog’s impression of them and soon you would have a dog that welcomes strangers instead of running away from them.
2.Your dog is not feeling well.
Your dog may be going under your bed because he or she is ill or injured. Even we as human beings tend to find a quiet place where we can relax and recuperate when we are ill or injured. The same goes for our dogs. They might have a high temperature or are feeling the pains of a fractured bone. Whatever it is, your dog would not be in the mood to socialize with anybody, your dog needs to recover and the most suitable place for him at that moment may be under your bed.
It is a no-brainer that a dog that is sick needs to be taken to a vet doctor to get medical attention. Being more observant of your dog’s natural inclination would help you decipher if it is an illness or some pain that is causing him to go under the bed.
It is likely that once your dog receives the required medical attention and takes the prescribed medication, your dog would get back to his old self and start socializing and moving around as he used to before.
3.Your dog is hiding something there.
Under your bed may be your dog’s stash house. He or she may have been accumulating things there and hiding them to enjoy at their own private time. These prized items could be treats, their favorite dog toy, that bone that they never seem to finish with, etc.
When a dog finds a place where they feel is a safe place to hide their things, it can lead to them hoarding thing their leading to a not well kept and unhygienic environment for both you and your dog.
Properly cleaning out under your bed would go a long way to discourage your dog to stash items here.
4.Your dog is looking for something.
It just can be that your dog has gotten a whiff of an interesting scent underneath your bed and is just trying to unearth whatever it is that is giving off that scent. Is it possible that some of the treats you have been rewarding your dog with have fallen under your bed? Or your children have disposed of one some empty cans of dog food under your bed.
Whatever it is, your dog knows something is there and wants to get to that thing. The problem most of the time in this scenario is that your dog may not be able to fit under your bed and it becomes too obvious that he is trying to reach something.
5.Your dog wants his or her own private place.
Your dog may just see under your bed as his or her own personal safe space. We all know that dogs are den animals, they are comfortable in tight spaces the same way you would feel comfortable laying on a large bed with warm sheets. From their perspective, under your bed can be a place where they can snuggle up and feel safe without having a worry in the world.
If you don’t want this, you can provide an alternative like a dog bed, a dog crate, or just another spot with all the possible comfort your dog may need. You may need to do some work and train your dog to start relaxing in these new alternatives provided, but if your dog doesn’t feel the place gives him the privacy he wants, it would be an effort in futility.
6.Your dog is under stress.
So many things can put your dog under stress, a new pet coming into the household, miscommunication with you, remembering an old traumatic experience, moving to a new house, etc. All these can lead to stress in your dog and when dogs are stressed they usually look for a safe place to cool down.
The place will be something that is always consistent in the household, something that doesn’t change easily unlike a chair or a mat that can be moved from place to place. This is somewhere static and the under of your bed fits this description.
Going to this one consistent place in your household will help your dog to be at ease and analyze whatever is happening around him.
A dog that is stressed should be left to himself for some time unless it is necessary, your dog should be allowed to come to terms with whatever it is around him that caused the stress. If this seems not to be working, your vet doctor can prescribe some medication that will help to reduce such stress, especially when the stress has accumulated for a long period of time.
So if you have been saying to yourself “my dog is hiding under the bed and won’t come out” or “my dog is hiding and acting strange under my bed” well you have the answers above.
DEALING WITH YOUR DOG GOING UNDER YOUR BED.
The first thing you should do is to try and figure out, which one of the above reasons is making your dog go under the bed. If he or she is doing it for some privacy, then you don’t really need to worry much about it.
But if it is due to some illness, stress, or fear then you need to assist your dog to get the necessary help they need.
Basically, you want to start encouraging your dog not to keep going under your bed, put some effort into making them feel safe and comfortable around you and members of your household. You see this hiding under the bed can also be the way your dog escapes the drudgery of everyday life with you.
Do your best to make your dog feel comfortable and get proper medication from your vet doctor to treat any illness, injury, or health challenge your dog may be facing. When they get comfortable, they would still go under your bed once in a while, that is ok, you will notice that they will not do it with the same frequency they used to do it before.
You can take things a bit further by trying to create the same space in which your dog seems to feel comfortable. Purchase a dog crate, put it in a spot where you believe your dog would deem private, this should be done from your observation of your dog and his behavior. You can then cover the crate with a blanket. Depending on your bond with your dog, use a blanket or cover which you have used before. This is because the cover or blanket would have seeped deep with your scent and this would go a long way in making your dog comfortable.
Start placing the things you believe your dog would like there, his toys, treats from time to time, and maybe feeding him or her.
In summary, you reward your dog whenever he or she behaves the way you want and ignore them when they do the opposite, but this should be done only after you are sure that your dog is not having health or psychological issues
The issue of your dog going under the bed is not supposed to be something of major concern. But taking time to understand why your dog does some things make living with them easier. You see, your dog is a sensitive creature, being able to understand and address their challenges makes it easier to bond with them.
Just makes sure that your dog is not spending more time in their newfound secret spot instead of interacting with the family. Everything should be ok.
Hi, I am Charles Nwankwo Editor-in-Chief, Mydoggything.com. Gleaning from Professional Dog Trainers, behaviorist, Registered Veterinarians, and Breeders. We are passionate about making dog care easy for you. My job is to make sure that you get the best-updated dog care information to understand and take care of your dog or dogs.