If your dog has been hiding in the bathroom a lot, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about it.

The most likely reasons why your dog hides in the bathroom are that there are loud noises that your dog is afraid of outside, separation anxiety, intimidation or that your dog simply likes it in the bathroom.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog hides in the bathroom and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why does my dog hide in the bathroom?

Below are likely reasons why your dog has been hiding in the bathroom and what would make each of them more likely.

Noises

The cause could be that there are noises your dog is trying to shield itself away from. This would be more likely if your dog tends to do it more at around the same time that there are loud noises outside such as thunder or fireworks. In this case, it could help to give your dog access to another quiet area or to try to mask the sound with other sounds.

Separation anxiety

The cause might also be that your dog has some separation anxiety and your dog hides in the bathroom because it makes your dog feel safer. This would be more likely if your dog hides in the bathroom when you are leaving, when you are not home and at night if your dog cannot sleep with you.

Your dog simply likes it in the bathroom

It could also be the case that your dog simply likes it in the bathroom. This would be more likely if your bathroom is quieter or cooler than other parts of the house and your dog does not seem to be scared when it is in there. In this case, it could help to give your dog access to other cool areas in the house or to try to cool the house down slightly.

Intimidation

It could also be the case that your dog has been hiding in the bathroom due to intimidation. This would be more likely if your dog has been doing it since getting a new pet, if your dog does it when another pet or person is around or after you have been mad at your dog. In this case, it could help to give your dog access to places where it can be away from other pets and people.

Encouraging the behavior

It might also be the case that your dog has learned that it gets rewarded for being in the bathroom. If you tend to give your dog toys, treats or extra attention, when your dog goes into the bathroom, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it stays in areas of the house that you want it to stay in and to avoid rewarding it when it does not.

Illness

Sometimes, dogs will also hide when they have an illness or medical issue and it could be why your dog has been hiding in the bathroom. This would be more likely if your dog has started doing it more since showing signs of being ill or injured in some way. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

If your dog has always hidden in the bathroom

If your dog has not always hidden in the bathroom, it would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started doing it. If your dog started doing it suddenly, it might be the case that your dog has been doing it due to illness, another pet being introduced, a change in the environment or something causing it to become intimidated.

The timing of when your dog hides in the bathroom

It would also help to consider the timing of when your dog tends to hide in the bathroom. If your dog seems to be doing it more at a certain time, the timing might have something to do with it. For example, if your dog does it more when there are loud noises outside, it would be likely that your dog is trying to avoid the noises.

How to get my dog to stop hiding in the bathroom?

Below are some options you have when encouraging your dog not to hide in the bathroom.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

As mentioned above, your dog might have been doing it due to learning that the behavior is rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not. So, it would help to reward your dog when it chooses to stay in other parts of the house and to get it to leave the bathroom, when it is in there, then to reward it when it shows signs of being calm.

Give your dog access to other parts of the house

It could also help to give your dog access to other parts of the house where it is not too hot, loud and where your dog can be away from other pets or people.

Limit reasons why your dog might be anxious

It would also help to limit reasons why your dog might be anxious when you are not around such as by giving your dog exercise, feeding it and letting it pee before leaving it. It would also help to try to limit noise in the house when you are not around.

Give your dog distractions

It would also help to give your dog things to be distracted by such as toys and bones so that your dog is less likely to feel frightened by other things happening around it.

Why is my dog hiding in the bathroom suddenly?

Below are some likely causes if your dog has started hiding in the bathroom suddenly.

A change in its environment

If you have recently got a new pet, someone new has been around, the temperature has changed or your house has become noisier, it would be likely that your dog has been hiding in the bathroom due to a change in its environment.

Illness

If your dog has been showing signs of being ill, it would also be likely that your dog has started hiding in the bathroom suddenly due to being ill.

Intimidation

Another possible cause is that something has been intimidating it which would be more likely if your dog has been doing it since something might have started to intimidate your dog.

Why does my dog hide in the bathroom when I leave?

If your dog hides in the bathroom only when you are not around, the cause is very likely to be that your dog has some separation anxiety. In this case, it would help to limit reasons why your dog might be anxious when you are not around and possibly to checkup on it more often.

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.