5 Reasons Why Your Dog is Hiding
If your pooch has suddenly darted off into a corner and won’t come out, you may be wondering exactly what is causing this behavior. In many situations, there is a direct and temporary cause such as something that has startled them. However, at other times, there may be something more serious going on like an underlying medical issue or a mental health condition. Working out what is causing the hiding can help out significantly when you are trying to decide whether it is a major problem or not. So, in this blog post, we are going to look at five possible reasons to answer the question: why is my dog hiding.
Whether it is a thunderstorm or a fireworks display, many dogs simply hate loud noises and will try and hide away from them when they get half a chance. Other possible noisy situations that they don’t like include vacuuming and construction work. Try to create a safe space for your pooch where they can retreat from the noise. Choose a quieter location and fill it with their favorite toys and their bed. However, avoid closing the door as this can make your dog feel trapped. Often, these noise phobias can get worse if your dog is repeatedly exposed to the stimulant. In some situations, anti-anxiety medication may well be needed.
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If your dog has gone through a period of abuse or neglect in the past, they are more likely to hide away to seek shelter and protection. They are going to be more fearful and mistrustful of humans. Small places are often favored spots such as in your closet or under your bed. Often, when you take a new dog home from the shelter, this hiding is common. But you need to be proactive in dealing with it to ensure that it doesn’t become a recurring issue in the future. Treat your animal with kindness and avoid any raised voices or sudden movements.
Illness or Injury
Sometimes, hiding is just a natural response to your dog feeling under the weather. You can usually tell that something is going on as you may notice frequent hiding in a dog who has never done it very often before. Look out for other symptoms that may point to an underlying issue such as tiredness, discomfort, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you are worried about your pooch, you should get them checked over by the vet at the earliest possible opportunity. It may be a mild and treatable illness, but if it is something more serious, you need to deal with is straight away to give your dog the best chance at recovery.
Change in Living Situation/Strangers
We have grouped these two possible causes together as they link quite closely. Dogs are naturally creatures of habit who don’t like change. For example, if you move to a new house, this is likely to cause anxiety in your pooch which could cause them to hide. And for some dogs, it is as simple as a stranger coming into your home that will make them shelter themselves away. Canines are territorial, and while some will confront the intrusion directly with barking and aggression, others aren’t quite so confident in doing so. You may need to engage them in some specific training if you are looking to cut this behavior out.
Though we have already mentioned thunderstorms above, there is something beyond the noise that causes dogs to flee. The flashing of the light can also be startling. But some researchers believe that the electrical energy generated by the storm causes discomfort as it moves through your dog’s coat. Whatever the case, many dog owners dread thunderstorms immensely.
What Do I Do if My Dog is Hiding and Acting Strange?
The action that you need to take about your dog’s hiding depends largely on what is causing it in the first place. So, if think that your dog just needs a little time to themselves in a quiet space, there isn’t really anything to worry about. However, if you believe that fear is the cause, you probably want to do something about it. While you may want to comfort your pooch straight away, it is recommended that you wait until they are calm. Speak in a reassuring voice and avoid startling your dog as they could lash out at you.
If you think that your dog is in pain or suffering from an injury, you are going to need to get in touch with your vet to describe the symptoms and possibly have your pooch looked over. And if the problem has a behavioral basis, you may decide that consulting a pet therapist is your best course of action. If your dog is suffering from some form of extreme anxiety, it may be necessary that medication is prescribed to help them deal with it. Other specific treatments include giving them more exercise and mental stimulation and putting a thunder shirt on them during storms.
If you are just bringing a new dog or puppy home, you can help to prevent hiding by exposing them to a lot of new experiences from a young age. Early socialization is important, as it exposing your pooch to plenty of new experiences. However, if your dog has suffered from past abuse or neglect, you are likely to need to go at a gentle pace. Introducing them to a calm and balanced home full of kind people can go a long way towards helping them to live a happier life.
Hiding in dogs can be caused by a number of different factors. Often, it is not something to worry about. It is only when the problem becomes recurring that you may need to take action. Getting to know your dog, observing their behavior, and trying to work out the triggers can help you to make the right moves to help your pooch.