Have you just found your dog sitting under a chair? Some pups really do like to get into the strangest of places. It doesn't matter what size they are or even if they don't really fit into the particular space they're trying to squeeze into, they're still going to get under that chair no matter what. Crazy, isn't it? Sometimes it seems as if they've chosen that one particular spot because they consider it to be a great hiding place. They may even seem to be pretending you can't see them or it could be he's making a good attempt at completely ignoring you. Yes, that really is one of the funnier things dogs do. So why do dogs sit under chairs?
The Root of the Behavior
If you have just acquired a new pup and he's still very young, it may be he is finding his new environment just a bit overwhelming and so he'll go and sit under a chair. It takes time for a puppy to adjust to a new home. There is an awful lot of things in your house which he has never seen before. There may be unusual noises to deal with and lots of strange scents which could completely confuse him. He also needs to get used to having a pet owner. You know you adore him, but he doesn't know that. When you first bring him home, it's an unsettling time for him and he may well perceive all your excited attention as frightening or even, as sad as it may seem, a little threatening. Many dogs will seek out a tight space when they're feeling anxious or insecure. They don't need to be a puppy to experience those emotions either. It can happen to mature dogs too.
If there is a lot of noise going on in the house which your dog is not accustomed to, he may well try to hide or at least find a space he can shelter where he will feel a little more protected. Your dog may go and sit under a chair for the plain and simple fact he finds that particular spot comfortable. He may like to feel the pressure of the chair legs against his back or he may like the scents which emit from the chair's upholstery. If you, his beloved pet parent, use that chair often, you will have left a good dose of your personal odor behind even though you won't be able to notice it. It is a scent he loves and being close to it will make him happy and content even when you're not there.
Encouraging the Behavior
When a dog lays claim to a space he considers it to be his territory. Even if that particular spot is under a chair, the more frequently he uses that place, the more he's concreting his ownership by leaving his scent there. While there's nothing particularly wrong with that, it can become a little inconvenient if you're a habitual furniture mover. The fact that you're disturbing your dog's territory every time you move that chair won't go down well with him either. Dogs, just like people can have moments when they just want to be alone and enjoy a spell of peace and quiet.
He may have chosen to sit under the chair because he just wants to have a tranquil chew on the bone you've just given him and that's the best spot he could find at short notice. That's fine as long as he doesn't get overly proprietorial and become aggressive if you try to move him or the chair. Dogs often display a whole kaleidoscope of surprising emotions. If your pup was bounding around, mistakenly thinking you were going to take him for a walk or a game of ball in the park and you told him no, he could well have gone to sit under the chair because he's sulking. It's a strange thought, but, yes, dogs really do that.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Dogs often try to find a safe place when they're not feeling well or have hurt themselves in some way. If you think your dog might be sitting under a chair because he's in pain or sick, the best thing to do is make an appointment with his veterinary surgeon and get him checked over as soon as possible. If you think your puppy is suffering from anxiety and not adapting well to his new home, you might want to consider consulting with a qualified dog handler. They'll be able to advise you on some great techniques to build his confidence and help him settle in. Dogs have days when they're feeling down too. Older dogs can also develop canine dementia. If your dog is generally unhappy or is acting out of character, consider getting him checked over at the vet's just to make sure he's not suffering a bout of depression or has dementia.
While there is not strictly anything wrong with your dog going to sit under a chair, it can in some circumstances be a matter for concern. If you are sure he is well and happy, then be thankful he is under the chair and not on it. At least he is been considerate enough to leave you somewhere to sit down.
By a Chihuahua lover Liz Correal
Published: 03/11/2018, edited: 01/30/2020
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