Every dog is an individual with their own unique traits and personalities, and some dogs are very outgoing and proactive about wanting to meet and say hello to everyone they pass, whilst others tend to be shy around everyone other than people they know very well.
However, when it comes to your dog in their own home, this is where dogs tend to feel the most relaxed and settled, as they’re in their own familiar territory where they can relax and chill out. This means that even dogs that can be anxious or a little shy outside of the home tend to show their natural personalities and come out of their shells more when inside, and this in turn means that you’re more likely to notice changes in your dog’s behaviour or if they start behaving a little oddly when they’re at home.
A good example of this is if your dog suddenly starts hiding or retreating to a snug, enclosed space from which they can’t be tempted out with ease if this isn’t the sort of behaviour they usually display and they’re not simply heading off for a nap.
A dog hiding away will usually be doing so for a reason, and generally, leaving them to it and not disturbing them is the best approach. However, there are some situations in which your dog might be hiding away from you that warrant intervention, as this can mean that something is amiss, which means that learning why your dog is hiding is important.
In this article, we’ll cover the most common reasons why your dog might be hiding away, whether that’s behind the sofa, under a bed, or anywhere else, to help to give you a head start. Read on to learn more.
Cats in particular tend to retreat and hide away when they’re unwell, but this can also be something that dogs do.
If you know that your dog is ill and they’re under treatment or you have been advised to leave them to it when there’s nothing you can do to help, leave them to settle in the best way they can. However, in other situations you will need to find out what is amiss and get a diagnosis and treatment from your vet.
A dog that is feeling anxious may react in a wide range of ways, and for some dogs this means making a big fuss, barking, crying, and trying to get your attention. Other dogs will try to draw as little attention to themselves as possible, which often means simply removing themselves from the scenario or area itself that is making them anxious, and so, hiding away. Identifying and addressing the cause of your dog’s anxiety is important, but don’t make them leave a safe space when they’ve found one without good reason.
If the home is particularly noisy or busier than normal – perhaps because your children have some friends over – many dogs will find this daunting, or may become overstimulated. This can result in them retreating to hide, get out of the way, and reduce the bombardment to their senses – much as the adults of the household might wish to do themselves!
In this sort of situation, your dog will come back out again when things have calmed down sufficiently.
If your dog is being unusually quiet and is trying to keep out of the way, they might be trying to enjoy a bone or favourite treat in peace, or they might have made off with something they shouldn’t have and are trying to avoid bringing attention to themselves.
It is worth checking what they’ve got if you’re unsure, in order to potentially save your shoes and/or preserve your dog’s health!
Dogs will usually head for their beds or sleep where they are lying if they’re tired, but if this is not possible or your dog is finding that area to loud, bright or busy, they might seek a quiet hiding spot for their nap. This is particularly likely to be the case if something is a little different to the norm, such as if you have friends over for a nightcap or something unusual is going on that makes your dog want to seek out somewhere quiet or hidden for their nap.
Finally, a dog might retreat to a hiding place if they’ve been told off, or sent out of the room for being naughty or being a pain.
In such situations, dogs do indeed often go off somewhere to hide and stay out of the way of the person who they have annoyed, either because they want to avoid a further telling off or because they’ve been trained to go to a certain place when told to; or a bit of both.