The house seems quiet. So you go around searching for your dog. It is not in the living room nor on its bed, but it is neatly cozied under your bed.
You may find this strange, but hiding or sleeping under beds, tables, chairs, and other pieces of furniture is expected behavior in the canine world.
According to AKC, some reasons for your dog’s behavior could be as innocent as wanting its private space or relaxing in a stress-free environment. On the other hand, reasons like pain, illness, and other health issues could cause concern.
If your dog enjoys a nap under the bed once in a while, you can let it be. But, if the dog suddenly starts showing this behavior or you notice a sudden increase in its occurrence, it would be best to contact the vet.
So, if you are wondering, ‘why does my dog sleep under my bed,’ the article will explore possible reasons. We will also look at tips that may help stop the dog from sleeping under pieces of furniture.
Why Does My Dog Sleep Under the Bed?
Monitor what your pet does before it goes to sleep under your bed. You can identify trigger events that cause your dog to behave so.
Here are possible reasons why the dog sleeps under your bed.
1. The Dog Needs Its Space
Don’t we all have a space that we call our own? The one we retreat to when we are sad, upset, irritated, stressed, or even happy. Staying alone for a few minutes helps us calm down, focus our thoughts and refill our energy bucket.
The same goes for your dog. Your pet might be a social creature, enjoying the company of its human family. But once in a while, even dogs need their personal space.
They could be irritated, tired, or sleepy. And would like some quiet moments to itself.
On the other hand, there are dog breeds that do well independently. They, too, need human companionship, but they would also like to chill on their own.
For example, breeds like Chow Chows, Lhasa Apsos, Boston Terriers, and Bullmastiffs may hide or sleep under your bed when they need space.
2. The Dog is Scared or Anxious
This reason extends to the fact that dogs need their own space. When the dog is scared or anxious, it may want to be in a space where it feels the most secure and comfortable, and the space may be the underside of your bed.
For example, your dog could be scared by fireworks or thunder. So, as it considers the underside of the bed safe, it will run, hide and sleep under it.
Separation anxiety can be another cause of your dog’s behavior. If the pet is left alone for longer periods, it can develop destructive behaviors. For example, it may excessively lick, chew, hide, and sleep under the bed or table.
The space is typically darker and quieter. The peaceful environment helps the dog calm down.
You must identify and address the trigger events if you do not want the dog hiding whenever it is scared.
3. The Dog Wants to Enjoy a Comfortable Nap
You may often find the dog sleeping under the bed because it may be the most comfortable place for a nap.
If your bed sits on top of a lush carpet, that would be a cozy place for a quick nap. The bed acting as a roof and the carpet acting as soft flooring can replicate the feeling of sleeping in a den.
The temperature under the bed could also be cooler than the rest of the house. Moreover, suppose you use flooring materials like porcelain and ceramic tiles, natural stone tile, or marble. In that case, your floor will remain cool even during summer.
So, if the weather outside is too hot or your dog has returned from a play session, a nap under the bed may be the quickest way to cool down.
The flooring material, the bed, limiting sunlight exposure to the floor, and blankets draped on the side are all factors that make the underside of the bed a cool sleeping haven for the dog.
4. The Dog is in Pain
It could be a health issue if your dog suddenly starts hiding or taking naps under the bed.
For example, your dog may be in pain because of an injury or illness. Staying under the bed could be a way of getting away from the day’s hustle. It may not want to run around, play or be in the company of other animals or people.
Sometimes, it may be challenging to identify if the dog is in pain. You are not a bad dog parent; it is just that your dog is good at hiding pain.
You can trace the behavior back to the dog’sdog’s wild ancestors. In the wild, animals had to hide their pain, injury, or other signs of illness. If they showed any signs of weakness, they would become an easy target for predators.
If it is a physical injury, you may see signs like:
If it is an illness with no visible physical signs, then see if the dog is showing behavioral changes like:
- Loss of appetite
- Hesitancy to take stairs or run around the yard
In such cases, it would be best to get the pet examined by the vet.
5. The Dog Found Something Under the Bed
Do you snack or have meals on your bed? Or do you use the space under the bed as storage for things like shoes, rubber gym equipment, or dirty laundry?
If you like snacking on the bed while enjoying a movie or a show, you may end up dropping food crumbs around the bed. You may clean the area up, but dogs are capable of finding even the tiniest food crumbs you have left behind. So, the dog might wander under the bed for a food treasure hunt and a nap.
If you store shoes or any object made out of rubber under the bed, the dog may chew on them. Puppies may chew on shoes as they are teething. The motion helps relieve discomfort.
It could signify stress or anxiety if your adult dog cheats on shoes. This, again, is a condition that needs vet care.
This may sound gross, but your dirty socks are like a treasure for the dog. The texture of the sock makes chewing easy and fun. The sock also smells like you, so the dog overall enjoys the activity.
6. The Dog Wants Privacy
If your usually quiet house is filled with people, the dog may get overwhelmed and seek solace under the bed. In the presence of other people, the dog may be unable to move freely around the house. People might try to pet, hug or lift the dog in their arms.
Your dog may tolerate or even be happy in the presence of people it knows. But it may tap out if it meets too many new people for the first time. The noise and commotion may be too much, and it will go under the bed and take a much-needed nap.
If yours is a multi-pet household, the dog may hide or sleep under the bed to escape the other pets. It may enjoy the company of the other dogs, play, and spend time with them. But when it is tired, it may hide under the bed and not get out until the other pets leave it alone.
Dog breeds like Chihuahuas, Siberian Huskies, Akitas, and Mastiffs do not do well with children around. So, they might sleep under the bed to enjoy an uninterrupted and comfortable sleep.
7. The Dog is Hiding Toys or Treats Under the Bed
Toys and treats are two things that all dogs enjoy. Hiding them is a natural instinctive behavior among canines.
This can again be traced back to the dog’s wild ancestors. The wild animals would bury their leftover food because they would not know when they would be eating their next meal. So burying food was essential for their survival.
Today’s pet dogs need not hide food and treats, but they do so instinctively. You may find its treats stashed all around the house. Under your bed will be one of many places where the dog might hide treats for later.
Regarding resources like toys, food, treats, or even your attention, dogs do not naturally like to share them. Some dogs may hide their toys under your bed to keep them away from other pets in the house. The dog may play with the toy alone and fall asleep under the bed.
Is My Dog Sleeping Under My Bed a Cause for Concern?
The answer depends on why your dog sleeps under the bed. For example, if your dog has always been independent and likes its own space, then sleeping under the bed or table would be a behavior it has shown since before.
As long as the dog is healthy, happy, and mingles with the family the other times, there is no cause for concern.
Similarly, if the dog is looking for a comfortable and cooler place to nap, you can let it be. But do look into making the dog’s original sleeping area more habitable.
If your dog suddenly starts sleeping under the bed and stays there for long periods, you must know the cause. If you notice any physical or behavioral changes, please discuss them with the vet.
Similarly, a trip to the vet or a professional behaviorist may be necessary if your dog is too stressed or anxious and has developed other destructive behaviors.
How Can I Stop My Dog From Sleeping Under My Bed?
Now, you know the possible answers to why my dog sleeps under my bed? If the behavior bothers you and you want the dog to sleep comfortably on its bed or designated sleeping area, here are some tips that may help.
1. Make its Sleeping Area Comfortable
If you want the dog to sleep in a particular area of the house, then you need to make the area appealing and comfortable for the dog.
Invest in a good dog bed. Wild dogs would burrow to keep their young ones safe and sleep in warm and cozy spaces. The circular bed with raised edges is a popular design among dog parents. The circular bed mimics the feeling of sleeping in a den.
If the dog has joint issues, consider getting an orthopedic bed. This will stop the dog from looking for other places to sleep.
Have some toys around the dog’s bed, so it has company when it goes to sleep.
2. Help the Dog Overcome Trigger Events
Identify why the dog hurries away, hides, and sleeps under the bed. Is it loud noises, other animals, or strangers?
If your dog is uncomfortable around people, you need to start socializing. For example, you can first train the dog to stay in the same room as another person. Then, command them to stay and give them a treat when they do.
Slowly, let the other person get closer to the dog, pet it or give it a treat. Once the dog gets comfortable, you can gradually introduce it to more people. Be patient, though. Your dog is trying to overcome fear, which is never easy.
3. Keep the Dog Away From The Bedroom
If you store dirty laundry or shoes under the bed, keep the dog away from the area. It would be best if you addressed why the dog is anxious or stressed but also prepared its environment so that it cannot indulge in destructive behaviors.
Keeping your expensive shoes tucked in safely or training the dog not to linger around the area eliminates the possibility of the dog chewing your shoes.
4. Ignore and Reward
According to AKC, one technique to stop the dog from sleeping under your bed is to ignore the behavior you do not like and reward the behavior you want to continue.
So, for example, ignore it when the dog sleeps under the bed. Instead, reward the dog when it rests on the living room rug, in its designated resting area, or on its bed.
It will soon realize it gets nothing when it sleeps under the bed, but other areas are rewarded. The rewards will eventually lead to good behavioral change.
5. Prevent Resource Guarding Among Dogs
You must start socializing the dogs early if you are a multi-pet household. Ensure all dogs have enough food and toys to play with. If you show extreme favoritism, the dog may get jealous and resent the other dog.
It will help if you prevent resource guarding with the steps mentioned above. However, correcting the behavior will require consistent training and patience if your dog has already started hiding resources.
You first need to observe what resource your dog hides; for example, it could be a toy. Next, you need to get two helpers, keep the dogs at a distance and give one of the dogs a toy. Have the dogs on a leash and command them to stay.
Gradually reduce the distance between dogs; if they behave, you can let them off their leash and interact. When the dog obeys, reward it. Please do so before it gets aggressive, then it starts associating obedience with rewards.
6. Seek Professional Help
If the above techniques do not work, you can see a behaviorist. One-on-one training sessions or enrolling the dog in doggy daycare can help.
If the dog is hurt or you notice behavioral changes, it would be best to visit the vet.
Why does my dog sleep under my bed? The reason could be as simple as the dog wanting to sleep in a comfortable place.
Sometimes dogs need a space where they can feel secure and relaxed. The space under your bed may be the right spot. So it may sleep under your bed when it is scared, anxious, or wants some privacy.
Your dog could also be hiding treats and toys under the bed, enjoying them by themselves, and having an uninterrupted nap later.
Reasons like injury and illness need vet attention. If your dog is highly anxious or has developed destructive behaviors, you seek help from a professional behaviorist.
Elena Gherman is a highly skilled and knowledgeable animal care expert. At the start of her career, she gained practical expertise with multiple animals. In addition to that, she works as a DVM veterinary editor for Joy Pet Products, which focuses on offering reliable information on pet health and wellbeing. She meticulously reviews each piece of writing before it is published to make sure pet owners get the most precise and updated information possible.