The Short Answer is:
Generally, it is fear that causes the problem. There has even been a case of dogs hiding from their owners.
In this article you will know the answer to the query “Why Is My Dog Suddenly Hiding In My Closet?“.
Do you have a dog that hides in your closet suddenly? When you were putting your laundry away did you stumble upon them by accident?
Under bits of furniture our dogs can hide in a variety of strange places
Beds tables sofas and stairs are all included!
The sudden appearance of your dog sleeping in your closet can be caused by both good and bad reasons.
Perhaps it is a harmless new behavior or perhaps it is something you need to pay more attention to.
I examine 7 reasons why your dog might be acting this way in this article.
1. Dogs like confined spaces
Even when forced into confined spaces dogs tend to like them.
My golden retriever used to love to sleep on the corner step of our staircase and if she had her way she would spend most of the day sleeping in the boot (trunk) of our car- do not panic its a station wagon!
It is believed that the need to stay in relatively small spaces is buried deep within a dogs DNA and can be traced back to when dogs were wild and frequently born in burrows or caves.
That is something to remember when making a choice.
As an example we can look at dog crates. There are many dogs that love their crates but there are many others that hate them.
There are crates that are secluded a confined space that a dog does not have to share with walls that surround them that they can retreat to when they want to forget about everything.
On the other hand the Internet is littered with questions from desperate dog owners whose dogs hate crates.
2. Dogs like quiet places
Many dogs prefer quiet places to relax and sleep as well as confined spaces.
It is normal for my youngest dog to want to be by my side at all times even when she is sleeping.
When she is tired (such as after a long walk) or when she has had a stressful day (such as when my stepdaughters French Bulldog would not leave her alone) she will find a quiet spot on her own regardless of whether she is by my side.
3. Disturbed or upset by a fundamental change
A dog that is upset will sometimes seek comfort in a confined space.
The question of whether dogs suffer from depression is quite controversial.
I am still waiting for the verdict.
While I do not believe dogs suffer from depression I do know that they are extremely sensitive creatures who will react to their owners moods.
Dogs can be upset by the following events:
- House move
- Human bereavement
- Animal bereavement
- New baby
- New partner
- New job
Each of these significant life events can lead to stress and uncertainty in our lives and dogs are highly sensitive to our moods.
Mia our gorgeous Golden Retriever of ten years who died unexpectedly earlier this year from a leukemia-like condition passed away in April.
There are two more dogs in our household but I do not think either of them started acting strangely after we had the dog “put down”.
Neither of them showed any signs of depression.
Our youngest dog Mia was acting in an anxious manner in the last month of her life- never settling always following me around the house.
Were you aware of Mias deterioration and illness before we were?
4. Scared by a one-off event
After a particularly tiring day a dog might seek comfort in a quiet place like a closet.
Additionally a dog might also seek refuge from a single event that makes them feel very scared.
When a thunderstorm is approaching or when a firework is launched your dog may hide under your bed.
Most dogs are scared by the following events and situations:
- Astraphobia: fear of thunder
- Separation anxiety
- Car journeys
5. Physical injury or pain
In my opinion it is important to check for any physical signs of injury if we notice any changes in our dogs behavior- particularly if the behavior results in a “quieter” dog.
Take your dog to the vet for a physical examination. You should run your hands along their body to check for lumps or abrasions. Make sure their mouths ears and paws are free from any physical signs of injury.
Keep an eye on them as they move. Do they appear to be limping? Are they moving stiffly?
When you see lumps abrasions or if your dog is limping you need to keep a very close eye on them for a few days to ensure that they are recovering properly.
After a few days if there is no progress you should contact your veterinarian.
6. Smells of you
You might have a dog hiding in your closet because it smells like you.
You have all your clothes in it after all.
Many dog owners like this one and this one believe that a piece of clothing calms their anxious dog.
The behavior could be related to separation anxiety which affects 20-40% of dogs seen by veterinary behavioral specialists.
Hide-and-seek is one of the behaviors associated with anxiety.
7. Bitch just about to give birth
I hope my final reason for why your dog might be hiding in your closet would not come as too much of a shock.
You have a pregnant dog!
In addition to being pregnant they are very close to giving birth!
During her pregnancy a bitch is pregnant for about 63 days and in the final few days of her pregnancy she starts searching for a quiet and safe place to give birth.
Each of our dogs has had three litters of puppies and I built a whelping box for each which they were happy to use.
There is a possibility that your buck will turn her nose up at a whelping box.
In the end there is not much difference between the two.
Ideally a whelping box should be out of the way and be filled with soft blankets.
What does that have to do with a closet?
Isnot it true that dogs are sensitive creatures?
Once you think you have no more surprises in store for you they throw you a curveball and start sleeping in your closet!
Maybe one or two of my seven explanations will help connect a few dots for you and explain this latest activity.
If the behavior persists for more than a few days or if your dog is showing signs of illness please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.