The Root of the Behavior
If your dog is in a playful mood and is jumping and running around the house, chances are hiding under the bed is his adorable way of playing hide and go seek. He probably doesn’t realize just because he can’t see you, doesn’t mean you can’t see him. Especially his adorable tail wagging in excitement from under the bed. Playfulness is innocent behavior and doesn’t require any further investigation on your part. Does your dog hide under the bed, sofa, coffee table, or other furniture often? Have you ever reached under there to pet him and he growled or barked at you? If this is your current situation, chances are he is injured or sick and doesn’t want to be bothered. But this is exactly the time you need to bother your dog and get him to a veterinarian immediately.
Dogs aren’t capable of telling their pet parents they feel sick or they got injured while running around with their friends at the dog park. Hiding under the bed and not wanting to come out for food, water, or toys is a sign there is something serious going on that needs your attention. If your dog won’t allow you to remove them carefully from under the bed or furniture they are hiding under, you will need to convince your dog to come out. Usually, a favorite treat or toy helps get their attention. Once they are out in the open, observe their demeanor and physical behavior. Their body language can say a lot if they are limping, whimpering, favoring a paw, licking themselves excessively, or exhibiting any other unusual behavior. If you are concerned there is an injury or health issue that is causing your dog to hide, contact the veterinarian office for further assistance or visit the local animal hospital in your area.
Encouraging the Behavior
Dogs who enjoy hiding to seek comfort and safety are tapping into their natural instincts. In the past, your dog’s ancestors lived in the wild. Hiding under bushes, trees, and other objects helped keep them safe from predators and harsh weather. Your dog might enjoy hiding because he likes to feel safe and calm. There is no need to encourage this behavior but if your dog loves hiding, you can make it easier for him by putting a few soft blankets in his favorite hiding places to add an extra level of comfort. If you are a pet parent that wants to discourage this behavior, it will involve finding the cause of the behavior.
You will need to be diligent by keeping a close eye on your dog. Observing his behavior and the time of day the hiding happens can be an eye-opener. If your dog tends to hide when everyone gets home from work and school, there’s a possibility the noise level or amount of chaos going on at that moment is causing him to seek shelter to hide. Dogs who are injured or sick will hide on a regular basis for long periods of time. It will be difficult to remove them from the area because they are attempting to make themselves feel better. It’s similar to humans cuddling under the blankets and eating soup when they are sick with the flu.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Dogs that are sick or injured should be discouraged from hiding. Instead, you can make their dog crate more comfortable by including a bed and soft blanket along with your dog’s favorite toy. Placing a blanket on top of the crate so it covers the sides is also helpful and provides a safe environment while he heals from his injuries or illness. Dogs that have injuries might have a difficult time hiding under certain furniture and doing so can cause more damage. Prevent your dog from hiding when injured by providing the cozy crate mentioned above and placing a large object under furniture that will deter your dog from getting underneath.
The only time hiding should be a concern is when it’s related to a health issue. Seeking assistance from a veterinarian for proper diagnosis is recommended. Sometimes hiding is also related to doggie depression that is common when there is a change in the family dynamic, household or the loss of someone your dog loved. Whether hiding is caused by depression, health issues or hiding-go-seek, you need to determine the cause to truly understand your Collie's needs.