When you are a dog parent, it can be stressful when your pet displays behavior that seems out of the norm. One of these behaviors that might ignite concern in a dog owner is hiding under the couch or in other areas of your home.
If you find that your pooch is doing this regularly or has just recently started displaying this behavior every once in a while, you should attempt to figure out the root cause of it hiding so you can understand how to stop it from happening and make sure a serious issue is not the reason for your dog’s behavior.
This article will cover the potential causes for your dog hiding under the couch, as well as solutions for preventing the behavior from happening.
Potential Reasons for Hiding
It is likely that one of the causes detailed below is to blame for your pet hiding underneath your couch all the time. Keep in mind that it is important to look out for other behaviors your dog is displaying for you to pinpoint a particular cause for the hiding.
1 – It’s Your Dog’s Den
In probably the best case scenario, your dog is hiding under the couch simply because your pet has chosen that specific spot as its den. Dogs enjoy having a little space to call their own where they can sleep or bring a bone to munch on in peace.
This behavior might be more likely if your dog does not have a crate in your home. Pooches will often utilize their crates as dens, so without one, they must resort to using other places.
2 – Your Dog Is Being Naughty
It is very possible that your pet is heading to a spot under your couch so that it can do something it knows you would not approve of in a place out of your sight.
This could be in the form of chewing on an object that is not meant for dogs to chew on, eating a piece of food it snatched from somewhere, or urinating on your floor or couch, among other things. It is even possible that your pet is chewing on the leg or other parts of your furniture while it is hiding underneath it.
3 – An Illness May Be Afoot
No pet owner wants to hear this, but one potential cause for hiding behavior is illness or just generally not feeling well.
You should stay aware of any other signs that this could be the reason for your dog finding solitude under your couch, such as vomiting, excess sleeping, eating less or not at all, limping, coughing, or other physical symptoms.
4 – Your Pooch Is Scared
Your dog may very well be frightened of something, someone, or some situation, causing it to hide under your couch or in other spots. If there was just a loud noise or if you have a guest at your home who your dog does not know very well or perhaps dislikes, this is a likely reason for the hiding behavior.
If you just recently became the pet owner of your pooch, it is possible that it is still in the process of warming up to you and its new environment, so your dog is likely to be a bit fearful, resulting in hiding under your couch.
Some people notice that their dogs hide in places in their home when there is a thunderstorm, which definitely indicates that your pooch is frightened by thunder and/or loud rain.
How to Stop Hiding Behavior
If you want to know how to get your dog to stop hiding under your couch or in other places of your home all the time, it is, of course, vital that you first examine the cause for the hiding behavior.
Below are a few methods for preventing this unwanted hiding behavior from happening.
Give Your Pooch a New Den
You can try to keep your dog from making a den out of the space underneath your couch by creating a new den for it that is even more appealing.
One way you can do this is by purchasing a crate for your dog, which you should most certainly make sure is the correct size. Another way is to designate a special place for your dog in a different area of your home, perhaps even a full room just for your dog if your house has a great deal of space.
In either case, make sure that you put your dog’s food and water nearby, as well as its toys, a comfortable dog bed, and any other items belonging to your dog so it can more easily get the hint that the area is just for them.
Halt Inappropriate Chewing
In the case that your pet is chewing on your couch or bringing items underneath it to chew on that it most certainly should not be, you have some options at your disposal to attempt to stop this behavior. First, always make sure you observe what your pooch is doing if it is not in your vision.
Also, make sure that a variety of toys are available to your pet so it has many kinds to choose from, and get items that are perfect for doing the gnawing that dogs love to do, such as sturdy bones.
You should most definitely abstain from allowing your pet to chew on household objects such as socks, as this only encourages unwanted chewing behavior.
Another obvious way to keep your dog from chewing on random objects is to put everything away and out of reach of your pooch, though this is impossible if your dog is chewing on your couch.
In this case, you could try to spray a store-bought solution designed to deter chewing behavior or homemade concoction that tastes disgusting on the spot where your pooch is chewing.
Prevent Indoor Urinating
If you have figured out that the cause for your pooch going under the couch regularly is a result of it urinating in a specific place in the area, you need to eliminate the urinating behavior. This can be a frustrating endeavor for many pet owners, but it is absolutely doable.
If your dog is already older, it is typically a case of keeping a close eye on your pet and letting it outside when you suspect it might be about to urinate, as well as letting your dog outside to go potty somewhat frequently. You could also put your pooch in a crate when you leave the house.
If your dog is still young, you can use positive reinforcement to encourage it to urinate outside rather than punishing your dog when it goes potty indoors, as positive reinforcement methods tend to be more effective.
Another very effective method for stopping this behavior is neutering or spaying your dog, if you have not already done so.
Seek Veterinary Assistance
If you suspect that your dog is seriously ill, such as if it has not eaten or drank much over the span of a few days, then you should bring your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible to see if there is any way they can help your pooch heal faster.
If you do not think your dog is in serious danger, you should just simply wait for it to feel better, after which time it will likely halt the hiding behavior.
Eliminate the Threat
If your pooch is scared, and you suspect that this is the cause for hiding, you should try to get rid of whatever is frightening your dog, if this is at all possible to do.
If you moved to a new home or recently adopted your pet, it will simply take time for your dog to adjust to the new environment or to you and others who also reside in the household. After a while, once your dog has gotten accustomed to the scents around it and has learned to trust you, as well as to understand that you are the reason it has food, your pooch should stop hiding under your couch or in other spots.
If your dog is afraid of thunderstorms, you could consider comforting your dog during these times or try using a special little coat designed to calm dogs by applying consistent pressure to its body.
Everything your dog does has an underlying cause, whether it be its natural instinct, a lack of training, or anything else. This is no different when it comes to hiding behavior, as you have learned from reading this article.
Thus, to solve the hiding problem you are dealing with, you need to observe your pooch closely to identify the real reason for the behavior, then work on finding the appropriate solution. It is impossible to get a hold on the issue if you do not know which method you need to utilize to eliminate the behavior.
Thankfully, you should now have the right knowledge to go about solving the issue of your dog hiding under your couch once and for all.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.