Dogs make fantastic company. They’re funny, full of energy, and perk us up when we’re feeling grey. When we see them in a poor mood, we immediately want to know what’s wrong.
When a dog runs and hides under a bed, it rarely means anything good. While a thunderstorm or a car siren can explain spooked behavior, sometimes you don’t have an obvious cause. Why does your dog sometimes scurry into your room and what can you do about it?
Let’s dive into the psychology of dog behavior so you can understand this seemingly weird habit.
Dogs and Their Mental Health
Before we look into the possible negative effects of hiding under the bed, let’s look at the issue more broadly. Dogs, just like us, feel fear or anxiety.
An increasingly common conversation in the United States is about mental health. Did you know your dogs can also have mental health problems? Medical studies have shown dogs -- and certain breeds in particular -- are prone to developing anxiety.
From whining to shivering, they too go through daily anxieties. They can also develop depression-like symptoms, all of which can lead to them hiding or running away. Whether it’s under the bed or in their kennel, dogs make it clear what they’re feeling.
Related: Why Do Dogs Howl And What Does It Mean?
Why is My Dog Hiding?
Just like a little kid afraid of the dark, dogs will hide to protect themselves from a perceived threat. If you notice your dog regularly hiding under the bed, there’s probably a good reason.
Common negative reasons your dog is hiding under the bed include:
They Don’t Trust Their Environment Yet
Is your dog recently adopted? Hiding under your bed could be a sign they don’t feel safe yet. Shelter dogs sometimes bring stressful memories with them, especially when they spent weeks or months cramped with other dogs.
A recently adopted dog that doesn’t trust its environment will eventually feel more at ease with time. As long as you remain patient, they’ll start venturing out of their hiding place in no time.
They’re Startled By Loud Noises
This is one of the most obvious signs, but it’s still worth exploring. Dogs have unique personalities, so what can scare one dog might not bother another.
Common loud noises that startle dogs are:
- Yelling (in the house or from neighbors)
- Slamming doors
They’re Afraid of a Specific Person
Do you notice your dog seems to hide when you bring guests over? How about a specific family member or acquaintance? Dogs are sensitive creatures, so they’ll let you know if they don’t feel comfortable around someone.
Sometimes it’s not a specific person. If your dog seems to hide from everyone but you, that’s usually just a sign they’re poorly socialized.
Understanding your dogs starts with their health. Dope Dog is founded by dog lovers who want to provide passionate owners with the best in holistic pet treats and skincare.
They’re Not Feeling Well
Dogs may be expressive, but they still can’t always tell us what they’re feeling. A dog that’s nauseous, dizzy, or feverish will sometimes hide in an attempt to feel better.
It’s similar to how humans sometimes cuddle beneath a blanket or seek out a hug when feeling under the weather: a dark, quiet space can soothe your dog’s stress.
Related: How Much Sleep Do Dogs Need?
What are Harmless Reasons For Hiding Under The Bed?
It’s not all bad. While hiding under the bed can startle a dog owner, sometimes it’s for perfectly harmless reasons.
They Simply Enjoy the Privacy
Sometimes a dog needs a little peace and quiet, especially if the household is often a noisy one.
If you notice your dog tends to retreat during the holidays -- and brings their toys with them -- it just means they need some downtime.
They Found Something and Want To Keep It to Themselves
Does your dog sometimes dig up items in the backyard? Do they bring shoes or clothes with them to their hidey-hole?
They’re not hiding under the bed because they’re upset: they want to have fun with their newfound treasures without being discovered.
What Other Symptoms Does Dog Anxiety Have?
When’s the last time you felt anxious and stressed out? Dogs have evolved closely alongside humans for thousands of years, even to the point of showing similar anxious symptoms to us.
Hiding under the bed is an obvious symptom, but it’s often predated by others. Anxious symptoms in dogs can look like (but aren’t limited to):
- Shaking and shivering
- Rolling their eyes around
- Tucking their tail between their legs
- Shying away from touch OR desperately needing comfort
Related: 6 Facts Your Vet Wished You Knew About Keeping Your Dog Healthy
It’s understandable to be alarmed when your dog hides under your bed for hours. You automatically want to know what’s wrong, especially if they do it often!
The top reasons your dog is hiding under your bed can be negative, such as being afraid of new faces or feeling feverish. On the other hand, sometimes a dog hides under the bed to have a little peace and quiet. Pay close attention to your dog’s behavior so you’re not left in the dark.
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