As you begin to wake up from your sleep, you hear movement underneath your bed. From the shuffling to the breathing, you wonder what it could be. At first, you think it may be a rat or something of that nature, but as the breathing gets louder, you realize it is just your dog. It seems as if she slept underneath your bed. When you try to get her to come out, she does not want to leave her small space that sits underneath your mattress. Understanding why your dog hides in small spaces can help you better care for her in times of need.
The Root of the Behavior
You have probably found your dog underneath your bed on multiple occasions. Whether she is sleeping, relaxing, or hiding, it is a place that brings her comfort. Yet, you must be wondering why your dog loves to hide in the small cavity under your bed. The most common reason for this is the comfort. Dogs love small spaces because they feel contained, which is enjoyable for relaxation. They may also enjoy the temperature that is created in that small space as well as the fresh carpet. If this is the case with your dog, there should not be any reason to worry. Your dog is just trying to find their comfortable spot for relaxation in your house. Yet, there are other reasons that your dog may be under your bed. Your dog will always want to feel safe and sometimes, underneath the bed is the safest place for them. If there is chaos in your house of any kind, your dog may go under the bed to find peace and safety. If your house is not filled with chaos, it is best to make sure your dog is not physically in pain or ill. Sometimes, dogs will hide under beds and use that space as a safe sanctuary while they are dealing with body aches. It is a part of their canine nature. Beyond these few reasons, anxiety and fear are two other reasons for this behavior in your dog. Anxiety and fear can come from loud noises such as thunderstorms as well as stressful situations that are surrounding your dog. The small space underneath your bed gives them a place of comfort and serenity where they will not be found. This can help ease their anxiety and fear when it comes about, and the bed can separate them from any chaotic noise or stress that is occurring in their home life.
Encouraging the Behavior
If your dog is hiding under the bed often, you may need to try to figure out why they are behaving that way. If it is for comfort and safety, there may not be much to worry about. Yet, if it is because of something a bit more serious, such as illness or anxiety, you may need to help your dog adjust and heal. Overall, it is wise to encourage your dog not to continuously hide under the bed. You want to make sure your dog feels safe, comfortable, and loved in their everyday life. Most times, hiding in small spaces can be a way for your dog to escape their regular day-to-day life. Once you figure out why your dog is hiding under the bed, it is best to create a safe environment and change what is needed for their own comfort and safety. If your dog likes to sleep under your bed or relax there once in a while, there is no harm in that. Yet, it is very important to make sure your dog does not make hiding under the bed a regular habit or coping mechanism for any issues they are dealing with. As owners, we want our dogs happy all of the time.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you notice that your dog likes being in contained spaces that are dark, you can create a space for your dog like that. A simple suggestion would be to create a safe space that is near you in the house just for them such as a crate or kennel covered with a blanket. This can help your dog feel safe, comforted, and loved in their home. If you notice that this behavior is due to illness, fear, or anxiety, you may want to evaluate the environment your dog is in. From here, you can alter it for the best interest of your dog. If this does not seem to work, you may want to have your dog checked with the veterinarian to make sure their health is in good condition.
Canines are sensitive and empathetic creatures and it is our job as their owners to ensure they have a wonderful life. If your dog loves to spend time under the bed, there is no harm in that. Just make sure your dog is not avoiding their life outside of their secret spot under your bed for some reason.
Written by a Golden Retriever lover Erika Seidel
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 03/06/2018, edited: 01/30/2020