If your dog has been hiding under the couch, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do to get your dog to stop doing it.
So, why does my dog hide under the couch? Possible reasons why your dog has been hiding under the couch are that it is fearful of something, it feels threatened, it actually finds it comfortable there or that it does not want to be bothered.
Since there are actually a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become a lot easier to figure out what you should do about it.
Why your dog hides under the couch
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It feels safer there
The reason why it does it could be that it feels safer there. By going under the couch, it will be able to protect itself from above and behind making it more likely that it will be able to see potential threats. This could be the reason why your dog does it even if there is no reason for it to be scared. This would be more likely to be the reason if it tends to have a more submissive personality.
The reason why it has been doing it might also be that something has been causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it tends to do it when a certain thing happens such as when there is thunder or loud noises outside.
The cause could also be that it is feeling threatened. This would be more likely if it does it more when a certain person or animal is around or if it does it when you are mad at it. In this case, it would help to interact with it calmly and to use positive reinforcement training to change its behavior instead of punishing it.
It finds it comfortable there
It is not uncommon for dogs to go under the sofa. The reason why yours has been doing it could simply be that it finds it more comfortable there since it’s cooler and darker which likely helps it to sleep easier. This would be more likely if your dog does not show any signs of being anxious or scared around the house and if it behaves normally otherwise.
It does not want to be bothered
It might also be the case that it does it because it does not want to be bothered. This would be more likely if it goes there to sleep after getting exercise or being fed. It might also be a sign that it has been struggling to fall asleep at night. It would help to ensure that the area it sleeps in, at night, is cool, not too bright, quiet and that there is a space for it to lay down.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started hiding under the couch
If your dog did not always hide under the couch, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as something causing it to start being anxious such as someone being aggressive towards it.
What is different when it does not do it
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to hide under the couch. If there is, it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it. For example, if it tends to do it more after getting exercise, it could be because it wants to be able to sleep without being bothered.
What to do about your dog hiding under the couch
Below are a number of options you have when dealing with your dog hiding under the couch.
Give it another place to sleep
If it does not currently have somewhere else to sleep, it would help to give it access to another spot to go to. One option would be to get a crate for it to use and to put a cover over it so that it can go to its crate when it wants to and feel safe there.
Train it to sleep or lay somewhere else
One option would be to train your dog to lay somewhere else with the use of positive reinforcement training. This is where you encourage it to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way.
To use it to get it to lay or sleep in a certain spot you could do something such as the following:
- Make the location, you want it to sleep in, comfortable.
- Get your dog to stand there and reward it
- Encourage your dog to lay down by giving it a treat
- Continue to repeat the process a few times daily until it realizes that laying there results in it getting rewards
Avoid encouraging the behavior
It could be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving your dog rewards when it goes under the couch. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is not under the couch, to avoid rewarding it when it is and to try to redirect its focus when it seems likely to go under the couch.
Minimize reasons why it might be fearful
As mentioned above, it could be the case that something has been causing it to be fearful. If possible, it would help to try to minimize reasons that it might be fearful such as by letting it stay in a quieter room.
Interact with it calmly
It would also help to interact with it calmly and to get it to behave the way you want it to with the use of positive reinforcement training. If you use punishment to get it to behave a certain way, it is likely to be a part of the reason why it hides under the couch.
If you cannot get it to stop or it is very anxious, it would help to seek the guidance of a dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to see what has been causing your dog to behave that way and what you can do to get it to stop.