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Canine Behavior/Dog hiding under bed


Hello, my corgi is just over a year old and she is constantly hiding under the bed. She's only started doing this about a month ago. When she's out of the house she is a happy dog who gets walked daily. Its gotten to the point where some times she'll only come out to greet me home and then back under the bed. I don't understand why she'd doing this, she's a well cared for dog who has never been abused and is completely loved. When I take her to other people's houses she is fine and doesn't hide. If you can give me advice on how to make her happier/ get her to stop hiding please tell me. Thank you so much for your time.

"hiding under the bed" might have begun as a normal "denning behavior" but your reaction (alarm, concern, attempt to coax her out with food reward, etc.) may have inadvertently trained this behavior.  This is called superstitious behavior: we want the dog to learn one thing, but our approach at obstructing or rewarding alternative behavior teaches the dog something totally different, something we do not want.

Make the bedroom impossible to access for the next three weeks.  Put up a baby gate, close the door, use cartons to block the bed frame so she can't get in there, whatever works (I can't see your living situation).  This isn't about making her "happier", it's about short circuiting an acquired behavior that is unwanted.  If she is unable to get "under the bed", she may (at first) choose another place: behind the sofa, behind a chair, under a table, etc.  IGNORE HER TOTALLY until she VOLUNTARILY COMES OUT from her "place": then reward lavishly but calmly and with a small treat, and take her outdoors to eliminate.

Let's see how this works.  Can't hurt.  At about 9 months of age, a dog's brain develops toward the next step into mature adulthood (which in the domestic dog is achieved at about age 3).  This dog may very well have chosen a "den" for reasons you do not know (backfire outdoors, loud neighbors, etc.)  Your loving concern for this may have actually rewarded it and further trained it (as explained above.  It will take at least three weeks to extinguish this, possibly even longer.  Use followup feature to report results whenever you feel it necessary.

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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