Our pets sometimes sleep in the most random places, and no expensive pet bed will change their mind. Cats will grow fond of a half-bent shipping box, and dogs might fall in love with an old blanket.
Many dog owners noticed that their dog enjoys hiding or sleeping under the dining table or the coffee table. We have scoured the Internet for stories and reasons why do dogs go under the table to sleep. Furry friend: you no longer have any secrets! Let's dive into the five main reasons your dog sleeps under the table.
1. Your dog may think the table is like a dog house.
As simple as it sounds, a coffee table or kitchen table resembles a dog house: it provides a roof, and its four legs semi-close the environment, so it feels safe to your dog. Another benefit of the table is that no one will come and bother him beside any other pet you may have.
Small dogs and big dogs alike feel safe and relaxed in this space and may even consider it the true home of the dog's pack.
2. It is the center of everything.
Dogs are pack animals, and the table is where everything is within your home. It is the center of everything and is usually literally located in the center of the living area. Your dog likes it because he can see what is happening around him while having the table and table legs around him to protect him.
Unlike an actual dog house, a table is only a semi-enclosed space. Therefore, tables feel protective, and dogs feel protected while still being able to see everything.
3. Your dog likes to be close to you.
Does your dog hide under the coffee table or kitchen table? Which one is closest to you usually? Many dogs like to be close to their owner, and while they may not jump on the couch next to you, the coffee table could be the next best alternative. Also, when you are not sitting down on your sofa, you may be eating at the table, which again presents an opportunity to be close to you.
Dogs like to be close to their owner without necessarily having physical contact, and as you will see below, they may feel anxious, which is why they choose to hide under the table.
4. Is your dog expecting table scraps?
Another possible reason behind this typical behavior is if your dog is expecting table scraps. It is especially true if your dog always chooses the kitchen table instead of other tables or furniture in your house. However, expecting table scraps is not the behavior you should encourage, as it may turn your dog into a picky eater.
If your dog is prone to food begging, you may start rewarding him for staying out of the kitchen or dining room when you are cooking or eating. For instance, you could give him a treat when he is outside the room and nothing when he is by your side while cooking or eating.
5. Your dog may fear loud noises.
As we have seen, context is everything. So whether your dog starts hiding under the table during mealtime or being close to you, you can understand what is causing this behavior by looking at the "what" and "when." For instance, what happened right before he went under the table? Or when in the day was it?
A loud noise from outside may create anxiety for your dog. While common behavioral issues don't include hiding under a table when your dog feels fear, you may start encouraging a different behavior. You may ask your vet for ways to help your dog feel less anxious. Keep in mind that fear of loud noises, fireworks, and storms is a common dog phobia.
Another thing to consider, aside from loud noises and storms, is to check if your dog started hiding after a particular person or animal entered the room. It could also happen more frequently when your dog senses you are mad at him. If your dog feels afraid or scared, then your pup may hide.
Creating another private space for your dog
Once you have identified why your dog likes sleeping under the table, it could help you create another haven for him. Pick a different piece of furniture, room, or part of the room and make it feel like home for him. Lay his favorite blanket and toys, and reward him with treats and petting when he is there. You can add his dog bed there, and your pup may feel less scared eventually.
The same idea applies to cats, as most cats will want a safe place near you. It's a simple desire dog owners need to address. After all, they're our pets and part of the family!
How To Get Your Dog Not To Hide Under Things
Depending on where your dog likes to hide, you may or may not like it. You may have also heard that dogs should not be punished, but instead, positive behavior should be rewarded. For example, giving attention to your dog in the past may have inadvertently encouraged him to keep hiding under a particular piece of furniture.
You can withdraw your attention when your dog is doing an undesired behavior. However, when your dog is lying in the right spot or complying with the desired behavior, you can reward him with praising, petting, and giving him a treat.
Humans and dogs are sometimes very different in their behavior. If your dog enjoys sleeping under the table, you should not be alarmed. However, you may prefer having him sleep in his bed and understand any cause of any anxiety. Start ignoring unwanted behavior and rewarding him when he is in other places. This is entirely optional, of course, since many people don't mind having their dog under the table!