Do you notice that your puppy keeps on going under the couch? If you think that it is simply playing hide-and-seek with you, think again!In this article, we will discuss the different possible reasons that your dog is going under the couch and also teach you how to stop this behavior.
Reasons Why Your Dog is Hiding Under the Couch
Below are some of the most common reasons your dog loves hiding under your couch.
1. They want a private space for themselves.
For many dogs, going under the couch gives them the private safe space they need. Aside from the couch, they might also discover the bed or table as good hiding spots where they can have some privacy and relax. So don’t be surprised if your puppy finds the seclusion of these pieces of furniture comforting.
2. They are hiding out of fear.
When your dog hears fireworks or experiences something frightening, they will hurry to find a good place to hide. If this is the reason your dog is hiding under the couch, try your best to calm your dog and give it some treats everytime it hears the loud noises that it is afraid of, for instance.
When done right, doing this will establish positive associations to an otherwise negative experience for your dog.
3. They are physically hurt or sick.
When dogs are not feeling well or are injured, it is typical for them to hide as a way to cope. So if your dog is hiding and this is not normal behavior, you might want to take a closer look to ensure that nothing is wrong with your dog physically. As soon as you notice signs of illness, take your dog to the vet.
4. They notice a change in their environment.
Just like people, it takes time for your dog to adjust to something new in their environment. So for instance, if your home is normally quiet, your dog might seek comfort and hide under the couch when guests come over.
In such a case, take your dog’s behavior as a sign that it just needs a break from all the commotion. When everything is back to normal, your dog will surely come out from under the couch or whatever hiding place it chose.
How to Stop This Behavior
The very first step to stop this behavior is to figure out why your dog is hiding in the first place. Is your puppy playing hide-and-seek or is it because it is scared? By knowing the root of the problem, you’ll be able to address it and consequently stop the behavior.
Here are some other effective ways to prevent your dog from going under the couch.
1. Fill the area under the couch.
You can use thin storage boxes to fill the area under your couch. It is recommended to fill them up such that your puppy won’t be able to push these boxes to make space for itself.
2. Give your dog its own private space.
As mentioned, your puppy might be hiding under the couch because it loves private spaces. So buy a nice carrier and add a soft blanket for your dog to stay comfortable.
An alternative solution is to build or buy a special indoor dog house where your puppy can relax. When you introduce these options, chances are high that your puppy will stay there on their own.
3. Close the door of the room where the couch is.
By keeping the door of the room closed, your puppy won’t be able to go under the couch. You might also want to use a baby gate as a barrier so your dog won’t be able to access the couch.
4. Remove your dog from under the couch.
When your dog hides under the couch because it is afraid of something and you just let it be, you are reinforcing its behavior and your dog will think that it is okay to hide. So as much as possible, when this happens, remove your pup from under the couch.
It is not recommended to use your hands when you try to get your dog out because this will only increase its fear and may even prompt it to bite. You can use a broomstick or the handle of a mop to sweep him out from under the couch, but do it gently. Don’t hurt your dog. Once you’ve managed to get your dog out, put it on a leash at least temporarily to prevent it from hiding back under the couch.
Comfort your dog and try to distract it with playtime.
5. Socialize your dog.
If your dog goes under the couch every time you have visitors in your house, you might need to socialize your puppy more. Take your furry friend out for walks and allow it to meet other people and dogs in the dog park or around the neighborhood. Once it gets used to interacting with other animals and humans, it won’t be anxious or overwhelmed when you have guests come over.
Is your dog exhibiting unwanted behaviors such as hiding under the couch or other more disruptive and destructive actions? The best way to get rid of these is by having your dog trained by professionals.
At Delaware K9 Academy, we have experienced dog trainers who can teach your dog some basic and advanced skills. If you want to learn more about our private lessons and two-week bootcamps, contact us today!