If you’ve ever encountered your furry friend hiding behind the sofa, don’t worry, it is normal behavior. Some dogs feel safe in environments that look like caves, so they look for little and quiet places to rest. However, this behavior may indicate discomfort in some situations. But to better understand the root of this behavior, we must consider some factors.
Problem With Dogs And Couches
In most cases, dogs hiding behind or under the couch is harmless. Usually, the behavior of hiding in supposedly tight places helps your dog feel safe, cozy, and comfortable. Occasionally hiding under the sofa is good for your dog. It means it has found a safe place to call its own and feels safe and comfortable in its burrow-like environment. However, if hiding behind the couch could put you at risk or harm you and your home, don’t worry. We’ll help you understand the behavior of some dogs.
Get To The Root Of The Problem
You need to observe your buddy’s behavior to know if your dog is going behind the couch just because it wants to and not because of fear or discomfort. Pay attention to these factors:
When your dog goes behind the couch: To understand why your dog is hiding behind the sofa, you must notice when it does this, whether when someone comes home, when you receive visitors, or in storms. If this behavior only happens in specific situations, it could mean it’s scared.
To end this behavior of hiding behind the sofa, it is interesting that you understand why he does this, so you can anticipate the situation and perform positive reinforcement training or prevent your dog from accessing the sofa. Follow the tips below to reduce the behavior of hiding behind the couch:
As mentioned, the first step is observing when your dog hides behind the sofa. With that, when the situation is repeated, you can give positive reinforcement so that it associates that thing it is afraid of with a good thing instead of a bad thing. Check out the practical example:
When: when it’s raining
Probable reason: your dog is afraid of storms.
Unfortunately, some dogs are afraid of storms, and getting them fearless is time-consuming, and you must be patient. After all, when humans are scared of something, we are not ok with the situation as if by magic. What you must do to make it calmer in this situation and prevent it from hiding behind the couch is, somehow, to make him disassociate the storm from bad things. For example, whenever you know there’s going to be a storm, please your friend with something he likes, like games or treats throughout the day, and give him the jackpot during the stressful situation. That way, it will associate the storm with treats and fun, and you will lose your fear little by little. But unfortunately, many dogs are so afraid that they run behind the couch at the first sign of a storm. Do not force your furry friend out of there if the place does not pose a risk to him. If it feels safe, leave him there until the uncomfortable situation passes. Otherwise, the position of having to fight for his safe corner could be more stressful than the storm itself. Be patient; losing fear takes time and must be done gradually. If you are unsuccessful with this technique, you can look for a specialized trainer to help you solve your furry dog’s fear.
If your dog is afraid of new people or other family members, check out what to do here.
If you are very uncomfortable with your dog hiding behind the sofa, or if the situation poses a risk to him, the best option is to make physical barriers to prevent him from hiding there. Of course, the type of barrier will vary depending on the layout of your living room. A good technique is to lean the sofa against the wall so there are no gaps between the couch and the wall. Thus, there will be no space for your dog to hide there. However, if you need to leave a gap between the sofa and the wall, you can follow these tips:
- Place physical barriers on the sides of the sofa: You can use bureaus or boxes. In addition to serving as physical barriers, you can use them to support your belongings. However, if your dog is solid and hefty, use resistant and heavy furniture to prevent it from overthrowing the table and everything on top in moments of desperation.
- Gates: If you cannot shield the back of the sofa, a good alternative is to use gates and limit the space your dog can use. Read more in the article dog room divider ideas: DIY yours.
Provide A Safe And Comfortable Space For Your Pet
In addition to the tips above, the most important thing you can do is provide a safe and comfortable space for your pet. To do this, separate a corner of the house where he is used to staying, and decorate that place so that he feels safe. If your dog likes dens, there are several options for dog homes or caves that he will love. Check out some tips in the article DIY dog den: creative ideas for a cozy and secure home for your pup.
Now that you know why your dog hides behind the couch, you can try to anticipate his hiding behavior and draw his attention to something else it loves, like toys, treats, and affection, and even provide a new and safe place for it to hide.