When your dog starts exhibiting new and strange behavior, the first thing you want to figure out is what’s going on. If you’re here, that means that your dog is starting to hide in the closet out of nowhere. Don’t worry. You’ll get the answers you’re looking for and much more in the next few sections.
There are a lot of reasons why your dog might start suddenly hiding in the closet. They could have experienced trauma, be going through pain, or have depression.
Whenever your dog has a new, unexplained behavior, it’s important to do a little digging and find out what’s going on. There are a lot of negative reasons that a dog might hide in the closet, and it’s important that you get to the bottom of it. Leaving something undiagnosed or undiscovered for too long can lead to a downward spiral.
Warning Signs Your Dog Is Depressed
Hiding in the closet is a sign of depression in your dog. There are a lot of other warning signs that you should be on the lookout for. If your dog is becoming withdrawn, inactive, or has a sudden change in their behavior or habits – that could be a warning sign that your dog is depressed.
Just like in humans, depression in dogs needs to be managed and dealt with. This means taking your dog to the vet and asking them what you should do. A lot of times, it’s as simple as changing a part of their routine and showing them extra love. Your dog loves seeing you and being around you, so you might be the key to cheering them up.
Reasons Why Your Dog Is Acting Strange and Hiding
There are so many different reasons why your dog might be acting strange and hiding. If there has been a change in your routine lately or a new experience, your dog might be upset because of it. If your dog doesn’t like fireworks, they might hide in the closet when fireworks are shot off. Enough trauma and this fear of fireworks could translate to a fear of any loud noise.
The basic idea is that your dog goes to the closet because they perceive it as a safe place they can go. The space is small, closed-off, quiet, and dark. Unlike other parts of your house, they can truly be alone in the closet, and that’s comforting for them.
Just knowing that they’re upset isn’t enough, though. It’s worthwhile to understand why they’re upset and what triggered this reaction. That’s the real question here.
Does Dog Hiding Ever Signal Health Issues?
Some of the time, it does. If your dog starts suddenly hiding, that means that something in the world is scaring them, upsetting them, making them anxious, or depressing them. Dogs live a pretty simple life, but it doesn’t take much to really upset them and change their whole behavior.
This trigger could be internal. It’s not uncommon for dogs to go to a quiet place to be alone when they’re really sick or they feel their body starting to shut down. Dogs are known to run away when they’re about to pass away so they can lay by themselves in a quiet area. The same might be true if your dog is hiding in the closet.
This isn’t always the case, but it’s worth it to talk to your vet about it and bring your dog in. The vet will be able to give you a better idea of what’s going on and look for signs of injury.
Are There Any Other Reasons for Dog Hiding?
Of course, not every reason is negative. There are a lot of perfectly normal reasons why dogs like to hide.
Dogs Like Confined Spaces
Dogs like to be in a place where they can feel safe. For many dogs, that means a confined space like your closet. It’s possible that your dog is perfectly okay, and they’re just relaxing in the closet. If they’re otherwise happy and enjoying their regular activities, you might have nothing to worry about.
Just like us, dogs need to unwind from time to time. The closet gives them a safe option to do that.
Dogs Like Quiet Places
In junction with being a confined space, a closet is also quiet. It might even be one of the quietest areas in your home because there’s no function for a closet besides holding clothes. Your dog might retreat to your quiet closet to just relax.
Truthfully, who doesn’t like a little peace and quiet from time to time?
Your Dog Is Scared of Loud Noises
If there are loud noises going on, your dog will look to escape and find a quiet area to center themselves and get back to normal. they can be sensitive creatures this is why a closet is ideal for them. It makes them feel safe, and they feel like nothing bad will happen in the closet.
A lot of dogs will go to a closet to hide after being scared. If you rescued your dog, there’s no telling what happened in their history. This means that they might be scared of loud noises or people fighting. You need to make sure that your closet is accessible in case your dog needs to retreat while they work through their stress.
A long-term solution to this requires training and a lot of positive reinforcement.
Your Dog Has A Health Problem
If your dog has a health problem, they’ll be looking to escape somewhere. If they can’t get access to the outdoors, they’ll escape inside the home. In this case, you definitely want to visit a vet and see what’s going on they can spot any sign of illness. There is a wide range of different health problems that might cause a dog to want to retreat to the closet.
He Might Just Like the Closet Space
There are some dogs that simply like being in the closet. If they started doing it randomly out of nowhere, they might have wandered in there one time and then realized how much they like it. If your closet is warm or cool, that might be the perfect temperature for your dog.
They might not be hiding at all. They could just be relaxing in this space. If you approach them and they’re happy to see you and not acting strange, then it could just be that they like to hang out in the space.
Sometimes dogs aren’t as complicated as we think. They very quickly make new routines, and they can find meaning and pleasure in random activities. For whatever reason, if your dog likes being in the closet, then they might make it their new hangout spot. It could be as simple as that.
What Are Some Common Causes of Dogs Hiding?
The biggest cause that would make a dog hide is if they get scared of something. Remember that dogs used to live in the wild. They are hard-wired with a fight or flight mechanism that is engrained in their brain. If they come across something that scares them, they might run away and hide.
Small, dark, and quiet spaces are perfect for dogs to hide. Some owners report that their dog likes to hide behind a door, under furniture, or in a closet.
It’s up to you to change their behavior and help them feel more comfortable in your space. A little bit of training and praise goes a long way in this case. It could be as easy as convincing them to come out of the closet with some treats and praising them when they do.
Should I Close my Closet Door?
You might think that you can just close the door, and the dog will stop hiding in it. Though that’s technically true, you could wind up further hurting the dog.
They are running to your closet because they’re scared and want to feel safe. If you close off your closet, it will just make them even more scared and unsafe. They are using this space because it helps calm them down for one reason or another. Keep the door open and allow your dog to access the closet if they need to.
Rather, your focus should be on how to correct the behavior and make your dog feel safe elsewhere. Spend plenty of time with your dog and help them relax in a new space that they can feel comfortable in. Simply restricting their access to the closet won’t stop the underlying reason why they are hiding in it, to begin with.
Your dog is part of your family, so treat them like you would a child! If your kid is sad, you don’t kick them out of their room and expect them to feel better. You need to comfort them, understand what’s going on, and try to correct the situation. Helping your dog feel calm and relaxed will quickly stop their new behavior of hiding in the closet.