4 min read


Why Do Dogs Go Into Closets



4 min read


Why Do Dogs Go Into Closets




It is early in the morning and you are fast asleep. As the sun begins to rise, you start to wake up from a noise coming from your closet. It sounds like someone is in there. Yet, you are completely confused. Is it a rat or a person? Perhaps, it is just your imagination. Once you wake and look in your closet, you notice that your dog is sitting in your closet, underneath your clothes. He is fast asleep in his small contained space. Some dogs love to hide in closets and there is a good reason for it. Understanding the nature of your dog can help you better care for them. 

The Root of the Behavior

Every behavior that your dog displays will help you better understand their canine nature and more specifically, their own personality. Some dogs are calm and sensitive while others are more playful and rambunctious. Yet, regardless of their demeanor, your dog may decide to hide in your closet or in a small space. If this is the case, there is a good reason for it. To begin with, dogs love to be in small spaces. Being in a contained space can bring a content and safe feeling to your dog’s presence. You may find that big dogs may like to sleep in smaller beds and you may find that little dogs will bury themselves in the laundry or even blankets. There is comfort for dogs in small spaces. Yet, there are other reasons for this behavior as not every dog loves to be contained to a small area. The most common reason is fear. Your dog may be fearful of the area they are in because of loud noises, thunderstorms, strangers, abuse, or experiences in the past that bring about fear, and your dog may even be hiding from those he lives with. It is important to understand what your dog needs to feel safe and loved. Your dog may also have anxiety or depression. If you feel like your dog is depressed, it may be because they are ill or have an injury. You will usually be able to tell the signs of this when they don’t want to come out and eat. This is a deep-rooted trait from past times when dogs were in packs as illness and injury slowed down their group. Closets are helpful for dogs in times of fear, pain, and chaos. Yet, it is best to help your dog in the proper way so they may return back to their healthy and happy selves. If you feel like their closet hiding is more serious than relaxation and safety, you may want to take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup. 

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Encouraging the Behavior

If you find your dog hanging out in your closet, you may want to keep an eye on him. At first, it may be fine to allow your dog to hang out in a closet, especially if you feel like your dog is using it for relaxation and comfort. Yet, if it becomes a regular occurrence, there may be a reason your dog is doing it and most likely, it is not a healthy reason. Closets are small spaces for your dog to hide and burrow in and they usually are doing it out of pain, fear, and discomfort. Due to this, you want to work with your dog on whatever they are struggling with. This could mean taking them to the veterinarian or it could mean comforting them when they are experiencing loud noises. If there is a one-time occurrence of loud noises, such as fireworks, there is no harm in allowing your dog to relax in the closet. Sometimes, it will make them feel safe in instances such as that. Yet, it is extremely important to adjust your dog to the outside world. Find what your dog needs and help them heal, feel better, and provide comfort. This can make all the difference in the world for their life as well as yours. 

Other Solutions and Considerations

If your dog loves to hide in small spaces because it gives them comfort and provides them with safety, it may be best to build your dog a contained space. A dog house may provide the comfort your dog needs in times of worry and stress. Yet, it also may be best to watch over your dog and make sure they don’t use that space like they would use a closet. It is best to keep an eye on your dog, making sure they are happy and healthy, even if they need a contained space to relax once in a while. 


Dogs are sensitive creatures that need love and support on a daily basis. If you feel like your dog is in need of comfort, there is no harm in providing it for them. Yet, it is best to make sure their comfort is for comfort and not for the sake of hiding a greater issue at hand. As owners, we always want to make sure our dogs are healthy and happy. 

Written by a Golden Retriever lover Erika Seidel

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 02/26/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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