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Dog is hiding

Is your dog hiding all the time? Here you can read interesting facts about possible causes and remedies.

Dog is hiding: why?

Psychological factors play a big role when dogs hide. Fear and stress make him withdraw. The prime example is certainly New Year's Eve: One dog hides under the bed, another dog crawls under the sofa when the bang starts outside. In this case, the trigger is easy to spot: the dog is trying to avoid the disturbing noise in a safe place.

But there are also other stressors in daily life that cause dogs to hide, situations with e.g.

  • the man
  • other dogs or pets
  • Noises and processes in the household (vacuum cleaner, drill, ...) or
  • To be alone.

It can also happen that dogs with severe pain or other underlying illnesses hide. You want to have peace and quiet, avoid noise and hustle and bustle. They do not necessarily show the pain directly by limping or expressing pain such as yowling, many suffer in silence.

“My dog ​​is hiding behind me!” Hiding also happens outside of the home: If an unpleasant situation occurs on the walk, your four-legged friend might hide behind your legs and thus make himself “invisible”.

Dog hides: when is it a problem?

You know your dog well and observe his behavior on a daily basis. Your dog behaves strangely and hides, even though he otherwise liked to take part in everyday life? Does he seem nervous or stressed? Does he show tense facial expressions? Does he eat poorly or does he not want to leave the apartment? Does he show other "strange" behaviors (irritability, aggression, restlessness, etc.) or symptoms of illness? These are all pointers to alert you. Under no circumstances should you punish him for this behavior!

Dog is hiding: does he have to go to the vet?

If the hiding phase lasts longer and you are concerned, take your dog to your veterinarian. Usually, the outside view helps a lot to better recognize processes and problems. Has a new pet moved in, a child born, or have you moved? These would be "simple" reasons for your dog to withdraw and seek protection.

Often there are also organic causes such as chronic pain (pain in dogs) or tumor diseases, which are then treated with priority. If the dog is physically healthy again, the unusual behavior can decrease.

As an example: a dog with painful changes in its spine will avoid touching it. He also knows that he is not as agile in play or that he cannot dodge other dogs quickly enough. So he prefers to withdraw and avoid situations in which his limitation comes into play. If he is touched, he can react with aggression that is otherwise not known from the animal.

Dog hides: behavior therapy

If no physical illness has been identified, a specialized behavioral veterinarian can help your dog. Usually a home visit is carried out: the behavior of the dog, but also its surroundings and the daily rhythms are examined. The vet has a keen eye for potentially problematic processes and can point out alternatives that make living together more harmonious again.

By the way: When dogs get older, they feel like us humans: They need their fixed rituals even more than before and are more sensitive to change. When you have that in mind, it is usually easier to understand conspicuous behavior! However, one should not argue “The dog is old!” If he is constantly hiding. It is important to determine the cause in order not to overlook a serious illness and to reduce stress for the animal.

Dog is hiding: what else can I do?

Even if this should be a matter of course, it sometimes gets lost in everyday life: Create a good atmosphere at home for all residents, tailored to their needs (rest, exercise, food, etc.). And make changes when the signs change. The following points are suggestions:

  • If necessary, look for a warmer place to sleep for older animals, put a thicker blanket in the basket
  • Offer retreat areas that children, for example, are not allowed to enter
  • Maintain fixed rhythms (e.g. always a long walk after work)
  • Adjust feeding if needs change (choose senior food for older dogs)
  • slowly introduce new roommates (e.g. cat, second dog)
  • and much more.

Dog hides: conclusion

Your dog hides in corners and looks very withdrawn? It could be a physical problem. But remedial measures should also be found for psychological stress.

© AniCura