It is a Friday night and you are relaxing on the couch with two of your closest friends at home. You are all enjoying your time watching your favorite television show. During one of the commercial breaks, you notice that your dog is not sitting on her bed that is by the television. You call her name, but she does not respond. You get up to go and find her, and you see her in the kitchen. She is underneath the table, fast asleep. Our dogs tend to relax and hide in odd places, and there is almost always a good reason for this behavior.
The Root of the Behavior
Canines are sensitive creatures who love to play. Yet, they also love to feel safe, protected, and comfortable. If your dog is retreating to relax in places that are hidden, such as under the kitchen table, there is a good reason for it. To begin with, the kitchen table resembles an enclosed space just like a dog house does. It has four legs and a roof, which may feel protective to your dog. This is the most common reason dogs retreat to under the table. It helps them feel protected, comfortable, and relaxed. In fact, the kitchen table acts as a safe haven for relaxing during times of chaos. Your dog may want to hide under the table because she knows that no one is going to come and grab her from under the table to play with her, to distract her, or to hurt her. It is a place that is confined by the wood table and the chairs that surround the table, but your dog can also see whats going on with the rest of the world. This semi-retreat happens when dogs want to be around their loving family, but cannot handle chaos. This retreat may also be because there are a lot of people in the house, there are loud noises, and it may even be during the time of a thunderstorm. This can cause anxiety and fear in your dog. If your dog has ever been abused or is afraid of their environment, you might see them escaping to under the kitchen table, or even to places such as a closet or under the bed. It is suggested to observe their environment, if you feel this is the case. Finally, your dog may feel ill or depressed. If your dog feels this way, they will want to be left alone from all people and the kitchen table may be their best escape for that.
Encouraging the Behavior
If your dog is escaping to relax under the table, it is suggested to determine why they are hiding under your kitchen table. If you discover that your dog wants peace and quiet in times of need, there is no reason to not let your dog hang out under the table. Yet, you want to make sure this does not become a regular occurrence. Sometimes, dogs are sensitive creatures and we must be aware of that in our everyday lives. If your dog is going under the kitchen table due to fear, anxiety, or even depression, you are not going to want to encourage that behavior. Allow your dog to go under the table at first but slowly work with them to heal what they are dealing with. This could be by changing their environment if it is chaotic and you may also want to sit with your dog near the kitchen table and talk with them. You could bring them a ball and slowly draw them out from under the table. Yet, you want to make sure your dog feels safe while you are doing this. It is recommended to encourage your dog to reintegrate back into normal life, away from retreating.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you notice that your dog is struggling with anxiety or fear, you may want to create a safe haven for them. If your dog has a safe space to go where they can relax, comfortably and safely, they may be able to handle chaotic weather and loud events in the household better. If their anxiety, fear, or depression is a common occurrence and you find your dog retreating under the kitchen table every day, it is suggested to take them to see the veterinarian. Your veterinarian may be able to provide training, help, and solutions you may not be able to find on your own.
Your dog loves you and wants to be around you all the time. Yet, sometimes the home and world they live in can be a bit too chaotic for them to handle. If you find that this is what is going on with your dog, you may want to make some changes. Yet, there is no harm in letting your dog observe their world from under your kitchen table once in a while.