Creating cozy hiding places for your fearful dogsOct 10, 2023
Do you think your dog would love some cozy hiding spots, but you're not sure how to set them up? Or maybe your dog already has some hiding spots, but you'd like to make them better. In this week's video I talk about some things to think about when making or improving hiding spots for your dog.
If you're not sure if your dog would benefit from hiding spots, check out this blog on signs that your dog would like to hide..
In the video below, I show several photo examples of hiding spots generously donated by members of our free Facebook community and our Confidence Builders Club members. You'll want to personalize hiding spots to fit your dog's preferences. Here are some things to consider:
Where should I provide hiding spots for my dog?
If your dog has a "safe space" in the house, it's a good idea to provide one or more hiding spots within that space, whether it's a room, pen, or something else. Outside of the safe space, pay attention to where your dog spends time in the house, and where they hide or try to hide already. Those might be good spots to create a comfortable hidey hole for them. Common choices include under or behind furniture, in smaller rooms with limited traffic like closets, spare bathrooms, or laundry rooms, or dog crates tucked into out-of-the-way locations.
If your dog is very attached to you and doesn't like to be separated from you, try to locate their hiding spots where they can be near you.
What do I need to create a hiding spot?
There are lots of ways to construct a hiding spot for your dog. You'll want something your dog can get into or behind so that the line of sight to the surrounding area is blocked. A crate, or fencing like an ex-pen covered with a sheet or blanket, can provide privacy. Furniture like sofas or tables can also provide part or all of the structure for the hiding spot. For example, a table draped with a long tablecloth that creates a little "cave" beneath the table is one way to make use of furniture. Check out the video below for more examples.
How do I make the hiding space attractive to my dog?
Place bedding, toys, and chews or food puzzles in the hiding spot that your dog enjoys. If they're going to be spending extended periods of time there, also place a water bowl in the hiding spot or nearby. Many dogs seems to relax better if there is some form of white or brown noise or music that masks outdoor or household sounds. If your dog likes to burrow under blankets or beds, make sure they have the right materials for that in their hiding spots. And don't forget- if your dog doesn't like to be away from you, having their hiding place located in an area where you spend a lot of time could be the difference between them using it or not.
I hope you enjoy the many examples of hiding spots I discuss in this video:
If you have any questions about hiding spots, shoot us an email at [email protected]. We'll be happy to try to help!
Want help building your dog's confidence? Join us inside our training membership for fearful dogs, Confidence Builders Club.