Your dog has always behaved, well, like himself, but lately, he seems to be acting differently. You don’t know what has sparked this new behavior, but suddenly he is lying in some weird places. You want answers, and we have them.
Why does my dog lie in weird places?
The reason your dog lies in strange places is that he is searching for a safe place to rest. A dog won’t sleep well until he finds a spot he deems a safe “hiding” place. These spots could be behind or under the bed, behind the couch, or under a low table or shelf.
Why does my dog lie in weird positions?
Does your dog lie in strange positions? Do you wonder why? Read on, and see what there is to learn about the positions your dog might sleep in.
On His Back
Does your dog sleep on his back? We all laugh at dogs that sleep on their backs with their legs all askew. They look adorable. You can be assured that they feel safe and secure in the home you provide for them and that they put a lot of trust in you. This laid-back sleeping position is for dogs without a care in the world.
On His Side
Does he sleep on his side? One of the most comfortable positions for a dog to lie in is on their side with all their legs extended. If your dog sleeps this way, he is quite comfortable with his surroundings and has the utmost confidence that you will keep him safe. This relaxed resting position is for dogs who have no reason to be anxious.
On His Stomach
Maybe your dog sleeps on his stomach. Some dogs sleep on their stomachs with all four legs extended, so that they can stand at a moment’s notice. If this is your dog’s choice of sleeping positions, he is surely energetic and aware of his surroundings. This “quick-to-attention” sleeping position is for dogs who make good guard dogs.
Your dog could sleep curled up in a ball. Many dogs sleep curled up like a wheel. While this may look uncomfortable to us, remember that dogs have super-flexible spines and are quite comfortable in this position. Plus, curling up in a ball allows your dog to conserve all his body heat and stay warm when it’s cold outside. This adorable resting position is for dogs who tend toward tenderness and possibly affection.
Does your dog look like he is passed out when he sleeps? Dogs that sleep on their backs with their heads straight up look as if they have passed out cold. In this position, dogs are able to cool down quickly, because the heat can escape through the almost hairless stomach area. They have no trouble relaxing in this position. This “drunk-looking” sleeping position is for dogs who are ready to let it all hang out — and now.
Why is my dog suddenly hiding and acting strangely?
If your dog is hiding, it may be nothing to worry about, as dogs hiding in places such as under beds or behind couches is actually a common behavior in dogs, and dogs can have various reasons for doing so. However, if your dog is suddenly hiding, and he is also acting weird, you should probably investigate to find out if something is wrong. Here are some reasons why your dog may be hiding.
Your dog may have been scared and is now anxious or even still afraid.
Any loud or startling noise can frighten a dog, and sometimes it’s not just a momentary event. Sometimes, when a dog is frightened, he can experience the equivalent of a human’s PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). When a severe scare like this takes place, it messes with a dog’s psyche, and until a dog heals mentally, he is susceptible to be very easily startled and might be extremely fearful, even angry.
This type of scare can come from thunder, fireworks, a siren, an alarm, or any such loud noise. Once a dog’s mind is scarred from fear, it takes reconditioning to help him heal. If your dog is hiding and acting strangely, you might want to pay special attention to him during storms or when he is subjected to any loud noise to see how he reacts.
When your dog is afraid, use a steady, soft voice to calm him, and reassure him that he is safe. If possible, remove the noise. If you can’t, try getting your dog away from what is scaring him. He will trust you for getting him to safety.
Your dog may just be looking for the perfect personal safe space.
Dogs need their personal space, but further, they need a personal safe space. They will seek out an environment where they feel enclosed on all sides but the one where they can see what may be coming. Your dog won’t rest well until he finds himself the perfect personal safe space.
Dogs like it under beds and behind couches. These are stable environments that are at least somewhat enclosed. The best thing to do if you don’t want your dog sleeping in these spots is to control what perfect personal safe space he chooses by purchasing a cave bed for dogs. They are like small dens, and dogs love them. Just make sure and get the size that will be big enough but snug for your dog.
He may be hiding because he is injured or dealing with a physical illness.
When dogs aren’t feeling well or are injured, they tend to hole up. Doing this is a defense mechanism. A dog in this position knows he is not functioning at the top of his game, so he puts himself in a position where he can better protect himself from predators.
If your dog is hiding and acting weird, especially if he is vocalizing or favoring a particular part of his body, take him to your veterinarian immediately for an examination.
Your dog may be hiding the fact that he is into something he shouldn’t be into.
Dogs tend to hide out when they are or have been into something forbidden. It could be food, shoes, or anything else they have no business getting into. If your dog is hiding under the kitchen table or under your bed, you may want to investigate whether he has found something you’d rather he not get into.
Also, unless you’re sure he wasn’t into something forbidden, you may want to check the area once he comes out. There may be crumbs from a muffin or the remnants of one of your dress shoes.
He may be reacting to an upheaval in his normal way of doing things.
Creatures of habit — that’s what dogs are, and they can get quite flustered when their routine is upset. When things in a dog’s normal environment are changed, dogs can do some funny things. The holidays are a perfect example. Homes’ routines are often upset by visiting relatives (often children), Christmas trees, lights, decorations, and lots of good smells in the air.
Your dog may just need a place of serenity — a refuge from all the commotion. Under beds or behind couches can be great spots to provide the calm and safety your dog is searching for. Even dogs who love being social will eventually get tired of all the chaos on holidays and seek out a place to rest in peace.
Your dog could simply be seeking out something to eat.
There is another reason dogs have for hiding under tables — kitchen tables, that is. Your dog may be hiding under the table waiting for someone to drop or simply give up some food. Dogs that are allowed to eat “people” food are especially tuned in to the smells of cooking food. They hang around while you’re preparing it, and when you serve it, they loiter around and even beg for it.
Other dog owners take a different approach, training their dogs to stay out of the dining area during meals, as dogs can be quite annoying when they are constantly begging for your food. Some dog owners choose not to give their dogs people food at all, and that is fine as long as they make sure their dogs still get all their necessary nutrients. It doesn’t mean they love their dogs any less
Why has my dog suddenly changed where he sleeps?
The truth is that it’s not always easy to decipher the “why” of why your dog is suddenly sleeping in strange places. All you can do is be cognizant of the facts, investigate, and come up with an educated theory. From there, you can try to deal with the issue to the best of your ability with the tools at your disposal.
If you cannot figure it all out, gather all the information you can think of pertaining to the subject, and schedule a visit with your veterinarian. She can help you figure out what steps you should take next.
The most important thing to watch for is not that your dog is sleeping in strange places, but it’s him sleeping in strange places and acting weird in other ways, as well. Especially if your dog is vocalizing or favoring a particular part of his body, you should suspect that something may be physically wrong with him and schedule an emergency visit with his vet immediately.
What should I do if my dog lies in weird places?
If your dog is lying in strange places, there are a few things you shouldn’t do and some things you can try.
Don’t freak out if your dog is lying in strange places. Panicking won’t help anything, and it is actually normal behavior for dogs.
Don’t try to force your dog to lie in his “normal” place.
Trying to force your dog back to his normal resting spot will only make him anxious. Plus, it probably won’t work anyway and may tend to exacerbate the problem.
Comfort your dog.
Do all you can to make your dog feel safe in his surroundings.
How to stop my dog from lying in weird places?
Here are some things you can try.
Try resetting the room.
You can try to reset your dog’s environment if he’s lying in weird places. Just make small, subtle changes that will make your dog look at things differently. Rearranging the furniture will usually do it. He simply needs to find a safe spot.
Try purchasing a cave bed.
You can also try buying a cave bed for your dog. These beds are a great option for dogs who are having trouble finding a safe spot to rest in. By purchasing a cave bed, you allow your dog to “find” a natural hiding spot. A small, tight spot that’s protected on all sides keeps dogs from feeling vulnerable.
That’s why a safe spot that you have chosen is best. If you make a cave bed available that fits your dog well, he will naturally migrate toward it for comfort.
Reward your dog for preferred behavior.
Use treats to reward your dog for “good” or wanted behavior. For instance, when he comes out from a spot that is considered an “unwanted” resting spot, reward him with a treat.