Have you ever tried looking for your dog and found it under your bed? And not just once or twice, but on several occasions? As a dog owner, you have probably questioned whether this behavior is normal or not.
As it turns out, hiding under the bed is quite a normal behavior for dogs. They do this for various reasons, and by understanding these reasons, you can avoid worry as a dog owner.
5 Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps Under Your Bed
As a dog owner, you want your dog to feel comfortable, safe, and loved – so finding your dog sleeping under your bed may make you question whether they are happy. But there’s likely a very normal reason for this behavior, and once you figure out what it is, you won’t need to worry.
Your dog may be sleeping under your bed for the following reasons:
If there is something alarming going on, like very loud noise, an alarm, thunderstorms, or even fireworks, your dog may become scared and run off to hide where it feels safe. Also, when there is a change of environment – for instance, having people over who your dog is not used to – your dog may hide under the bed. To comfort your pet in such circumstances, remove them from the environment that is causing them discomfort before calming them down.
Another reason your dog may be sleeping under your bed is that it is suffering from anxiety or stress. If your dog is new to your home, it could get stressed out by the new environment and hide under your bed to stay safe. If you got your dog from a rescue center, it could be suffering from anxiety due to past trauma or being mishandled by another owner. For some dogs, human hands coming towards them trying to hold them can be an anxiety trigger.
Other signs of anxiety in dogs are self-injury, attempts to escape, and destructive behavior. Comfortingly reassure your dog and give them the best care and love. In the case of past trauma, you may want to visit a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and to find out the best way to help your dog heal.
Dogs find comfort and security in small and covered spaces, so this makes under your bed the perfect destination. If you’d rather they didn’t sleep under your bed, you may want to create a secure and private space somewhere else in the house. You can do this by giving your dog its own bedding and making it as comfortable as possible. It may take time for your dog to get used to his own bed and space, but it will with time.
Dogs are good at hiding and covering their pain. If you don’t know your dog very well yet, it might not be obvious to you that they are in pain. If your dog is not feeling well or has been bitten, they will run and hide. It’s part of their canine nature to do so when injured.
Sometimes, dogs will avoid pain by refusing to be touched where it hurts. They may snarl and snap at you, then growl and hide where you cannot reach them. If your dog will let you, examine their body to find any signs of physical injury or illness that might need treating by a veterinarian. If they’re too anxious to let you examine them, take him to the veterinarian for full assessment.
Lastly, your dog could just be trying to get closer to you. Dogs tend to love their owners unconditionally, which is one of the reasons we like to have them as pets – but some are more clingy than others! By sleeping under your bed, they feel physically closer to you, and therefore secure. Sleeping under your bed also gives them predictability because as soon as you get up, they can get up too and follow you.
How To Stop Your Dog From Sleeping Under Your Bed
Once you know why your dog is sleeping under the bed, you may decide to try to retrain their behavior. Their sleeping under your bed may be causing disruptions to your own sleep, or perhaps you would simply prefer your pet to be an outside dog.
Get to know your dog well and understand what works for your dog and what does not. Also, know what normal behavior is and what is not. Just like humans, dogs are sensitive and empathetic; they crave for love too. So, knowing and understanding your dog gives you a better chance at creating a safe place for it.
Train and work with your dog. Create positive associations with your dog; gently touch him by petting and stroking, and let other people do the same so that it becomes familiar with socialization and the human touch. In this way, your dog gets to perceive the hands as something good. When they perform well in training, make sure you give them a treat as an incentive for their good behavior.
To help with training your dog, check out Fi. This handy app is a GPS tracker for dogs, providing round-the-clock location and activity tracking. It’s the perfect partner for training to help you identify your dog’s activities even when you’re not at home.
In cases where your dog is suffering from anxiety, identify the anxiety triggers and get rid of them, and then observe if your dog’s behavior changes. Try to establish a routine for your dog, as this will make them feel safe and secure.
Your dog sleeping under the bed may leave you confused and worried, questioning whether this behavior is normal or not and whether you should encourage it. Whatever the reason for your dog sleeping under your bed, it’s best to rule out medical causes first that might need addressing. Remote monitoring is an ideal way to assess whether your dog is sleeping under the bed simply because they enjoy it, or because they are experiencing anxiety.