If your Golden Retriever has been hiding a lot you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. In this post, I will show you why they do it and what you can do to stop it.
So, why does my Golden Retriever hide? Possible reasons are that it is fearful of something, illness, injury, being in a new environment, being aggressive or overly emotional with it, inadvertently rewarding the behavior or it could be going through a more timid phase if it is a puppy.
There are actually many reasons why it might be hiding and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Golden Retriever hides
Below are a number of possible reasons why it has been doing it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
Someone mistreated it
The reason why it has been doing it might be that someone mistreated it.
This would be more likely to be the case if you recently adopted it from a shelter. In this case, it would be likely that it would begin to do it less as it becomes more comfortable around you and its new surroundings.
But, it would help to give it lots of attention, exercise and to play with it. If it doesn’t improve over the course of a few weeks then it would help to get help from a vet or dog behaviorist.
It could also be the case that someone mistreated it recently. This would be more likely if it has started hiding suddenly and if it does it when a certain person is around.
It could also be the case that it has been hiding due to fear. This would be more likely if it does it more at certain times such as when there are fireworks, sirens or construction works outside.
In this case, it would help to remove the thing that is making it become fearful if possible or to try desensitization training.
Injury or illness
It could also be the case that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly, if it has been crying, vomiting or showing other signs of being ill or injured. The best option, in this case, would be to take it to a vet.
Another possibility is that something has been causing it to become depressed. Causes could include an owner moving away, being mistreated or another pet dying.
If it does seem like something has been causing it to be depressed, it could be the case that it will improve over the course of a few weeks. But, you can help by giving your Golden Retriever positive attention in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it. If it does not improve after a few weeks then it would help to get the help of a vet or a dog behaviorist.
It’s unsure of its environment
If it is in a new environment, it might be the case that it is nervous about it. This would be more likely if you recently adopted or bought your Golden Retriever or if you recently moved homes. In this case, it would be likely that it will become more comfortable over the course of a few weeks or months.
You are aggressive or emotional with it
Golden Retrievers tend to be very aware of their owner’s emotions. If you get aggressive or emotional around your Golden Retriever it will cause it to react to it and it could be why it has been hiding.
Instead, it would help to be calm around your Golden Retriever and to give it lots of training so that it learns how to behave.
It is still young
It is not uncommon for Golden Retriever puppies to go through a more fearful stage. If your Golden Retriever is a puppy, it could be the case that it is going through a more fearful stage and it is likely that it will stop in a few weeks.
You have inadvertently rewarded the behavior
It might also be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it rewards when it hides. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats, when it hides, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not hide, to recognize when it is about to do it and to redirect its focus and to train it to come to you on command.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when trying to understand why your Golden Retriever has been hiding.
When it first started doing it
If your Golden Retriever started doing it recently, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it did start doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as illness, injury, being in a new environment, being mistreated or going through a fearful stage as a puppy.
Whereas, if it has always been doing it and it is adopted then it could be that it is trying to get used to its new environment.
When it seems to do it more
If there is a certain time that it tends to hide, it would also help to consider if the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it tends to hide when there are construction works outside it could be the case that it is fearful.
Whereas, if it seems to do it at random times then it could be due to things such as illness or injury, depression, being in a new environment, you have inadvertently rewarded it or it is going through a fearful phase as a puppy.
What to do about your Golden Retriever hiding
Below are some options you have when getting your Golden Retriever to stop hiding. You will likely find that using a combination of them will work best.
Be calm around it
As mentioned above, Golden Retrievers tend to be very responsive to their owner’s emotions, so it would help to be calm around it. If you get emotional or aggressive around your Golden Retriever then it will usually cause it to react itself.
Give it exercise and play with it
Golden Retrievers are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. When they don’t get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally. If your Golden Retriever has not been getting much exercise then it would help to make sure that it does provided that it is a healthy adult.
Avoid negative reinforcement
As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has learned to hide due to rewarding the behavior. Instead, try to reward it when it does not hide, to redirect its attention when it is about to hide and to train it to come to you when you call it.
Avoid punishing it
If you punish your Golden Retriever for hiding then it will likely reinforce the behavior and make it become more fearful of you. Instead, it would be better to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way you want it to.
Get help from a vet or dog behaviorist
If you can’t get your Golden Retriever to stop doing it, consider getting help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored to your particular Golden Retriever.
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