There are three indisputable facts in regards to your beloved canine companion: One, they are wholly and completely loyal, two: they are super cute, and three, they can do some of the weirdest things. Whether it be the common need to roll around in the dirt directly after getting a bath or choosing to sleep under the bed as opposed to sleeping on it, sometimes they do stuff that can make us scratch our heads.
Although sometimes portrayed as otherwise, dogs are incredibly smart, well most are anyway. They are also quite complex and getting to the root of any doggy-related issue can be time-consuming and sometimes difficult. However, it is the only way to have any luck in correcting a certain behavior. So why does your dog hide under the bed?
A dog spending time under your bed, or any bed for that matter, could be an indicator that he feels comfortable and safe. The temperature under the bed feels more soothing and relaxing. Other reasons can be your dog is guarding you during your most vulnerable or he may feel depressed.
Today we discuss some of the most common answers to the question: Why do dogs like to go/sleep under the bed?
Why Does My Dog Hide Under The Bed?
12. Storm Phobia
Some dogs suffer from anxiousness when it comes to loud noises, especially storms hence the name ‘storm phobia’. Storm phobia can be treated, with medication in the more serious cases, but discouraging the behavior should be done only after the phobia is treated. You do not want to remove a dog’s only safe zone, the place he goes when he is utterly terrified. Consult with your veterinarian on different treatment options available.
11. Social Anxiety
While many dogs tend to be social butterflies, there are also quite a few that don’t really like or feel comfortable with, being in puppy (or any, really) crowds. If you notice that your dog tends to hide under the bed when company comes by, he could very well be suffering from social anxiety. With behavioral therapy, and possibly the appropriate medications, social anxiety can be successfully treated.
10. Sick Or Injured
When canines become ill or sustain an injury, it is typically in their nature to retreat to a safe space to begin the healing process. This stems from their innate instinct to protect themselves from predators who are much more of a threat to a sickly or injured animal.
If you notice whimpering or any odd behavior, or if there has been any contact with a sick animal, you should bring him in for an examination as soon as possible. Remember, although they may not mean to, a sick or injured pet can bite or nip out of pain, use caution and don’t take it personally.
Yes, dogs too can become depressed and/or sad. If something emotionally traumatic happens, such as the loss of a family member (human or furry), dogs can go through the same range of emotions that we as humans do. If hiding under the bed is in response to being sad or depressed, give him time and space and he will eventually get past it.
Oddly enough, comfort can play a large role in why your dog is hanging out or sleeping under the bed. He or she might just feel more comfortable under the bed. It could be the fluffier carpet or the firmer surface, but whatever it is, your pooch prefers to be under the bed instead of actually being in one.
07. Temperature Feels Better
Whether it be warmer, cooler, or just right, your dog could just prefer the temperature under the bed. Dogs can be a bit more sensitive to temperature variations than we humans are. Beneath the bed, due to the structure, the heat or cold is trapped, usually making that particular area cooler or warmer than the rest of the room or house. This is also the case when dogs choose to sleep on the floor.
Some dogs attack when they are scared, afraid, or nervous, while some hide. If your dog suddenly hides under the bed, it could be due to fear. This fear could be caused by something as silly as an unfamiliar noise but nonetheless causes fear, or because of a perceived intruder. Regardless of the cause, if Fido feels safer under the bed, it is probably the best place for him at the moment.
05. It’s A ‘Dog Thing’
Dogs will be dogs and the more we learn about them the more we realize just how truly individualized their personality (and quirks) can be. Some dogs are simply under-the-bed dogs. This could be something self-taught from puppyhood or a distinct preference he discovered accidentally. If he has been doing this for a long period of time, it is likely going to be a hard habit to break. No harm no foul, right?
04. Watching Over You At Your Most Vulnerable
One of the best traits of our four-legged, furry friends is their protectiveness over their pack or family. The reason he might be sleeping under the bed is so that he can watch over you when you are at your most vulnerable. Most dogs consider it their ‘job’ to protect the family and under the bed is the perfect place to do that.
03. Fresh Carpeting
As the carpeting (if you have carpeting) is more well-protected under the bed, and therefore softer, fresher, and newer, your dog might be drawn to sleep under the bed because of this. Animals of all species tend to use some form of scent to mark their territory and being under the bed can help your dog ‘mark’ that specific uncharted territory. It could also just be your dog finding the newer carpet better to lay on.
02. Result Of A Not So Great Background
Did you recently adopt your precious furball? If the dog has experienced neglect or abuse in his past, the hiding under the bed could be due to this. He feels safer under the bed and will usually retreat there if there is a commotion in the house such as yelling or being exceptionally loud.
01. It’s A Safe Space
Now, even if he has been raised by you since he was 8 weeks old, he might still designate under the bed as his safe space. This does not mean that there is necessarily a good reason for it, it just happens to be where he feels the safest, likely due to the fact that you are the one that sleeps above it.
Should I Try To Correct The Behavior?
Unless there is a reason for disallowing under-the-bed campouts, such as digging, chewing, or becoming territorially aggressive, then why can’t Fido have his ‘spot’? If you must correct the behavior, an appropriate situation should be arranged and offered.
Provide him with an alternative area that gives him the same result, whether that be for safety, comfort, or whatever the purpose may be. Mimicking the conditions under the bed will greatly increase your chances of Fido agreeing to the switch. For example, if you get him a large kennel, place carpeting inside if that is what is under his favorite bed.
The Do’s and Dont’s of Correcting the Behavior:
- Do offer a decent alternative and be prepared for some disinterest in the beginning.
- Don’t yell, scream, or use physical discipline as this could cause him to do the opposite of your intended goal.
- Do give him time to adjust to his new sleeping arrangement. You are likely going to find him under the bed a few more times but he will eventually ‘get it’.
- Don’t get discouraged. Any dog can learn new tricks, even the older ones.
Just as no two humans are exactly alike, neither are any two dogs. Sure, they might be of the same breed, or even from the same litter, but their personalities are individual and will be shaped by their life experiences. In order to successfully curb any canine behavior, you have to get to the foundation of the problem. You can’t diagnose or treat a patient blindly, and you can’t train your dog that way either.
If he is doing this because of a past traumatic event, for instance, then it is going to take more finesse than if he simply likes sleeping under the bed. In the end, the likely success of breaking the habit is going to rely majorly on the situation and circumstance. Good luck, you’re probably going to need it!