Does your dog love to hide or sleep under your bed? Labrador Retrievers, like other breeds of dogs, are known for burrowing or hiding underneath certain places, especially dark and cool locations, to find a great spot to nap.
Many dogs love to find a cozy spot hiding underneath the bed, or even hiding under the covers on top of the bed. Your dog may do this when you’re not home, when you’re relaxing in bed, or even when you’re trying to sleep.
So what are some of the possible causes behind this dog behavior?
Let’s look at five reasons why dogs sleep under the bed.
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One reason why your dog might love to hide or sleep under your bed is to cool off and find a place where the temperature feels better.
The temperature under your bed might be a few degrees cooler than higher up on the bed or elsewhere in the room. Your Labrador might be feeling hot, especially after playing outside, going for a walk, or playing with other dogs, and may be looking for the fastest place to get cooler quickly.
If you have wood, tile, or another hard-surface flooring, underneath the bed might be a much cooler location for your Labrador to find relief from being a bit too warm. The coolness of the floor might help your Lab be more comfortable when they’re settling in for a long nap.
In the warmer temperatures of summer, you might notice your Lab doing this more often. In addition, to help make sure your dog doesn’t overheat, make sure that your Lab always has access to fresh, clean water, and don’t leave them outside for long periods of time in warmer weather.
Fear or Anxiety
Your dog might also choose to hide or sleep under the bed to avoid something that they find fearful or anxiety-inducing in their environment.
Dogs can become afraid or fearful of events such as fireworks, thunderstorms, loud groups of people, aggressive other dogs, or other loud noises. This can be an especially important issue if you’re adopting a rescue Labrador or other rescue dog who might have been exposed to past traumatic events.
Your dog can also become afraid due to separation anxiety, when they might be left home alone for long periods of time without you or anyone else there with them.
Sometimes dogs deal with anxiety through destructive behavior, like chewing or eating things in your home. Other times they may react by hiding in certain places in your home to help cope with their fears.
Your dog might deal with being fearful or anxious by hiding under your bed, or choosing to sleep under your bed when the event is occurring, such as a thunderstorm. A sensitive Labrador might react to fireworks by hiding under the bed until the end of the noise, or until you return home to comfort them.
We have an adorable rescue Labrador who can often be found snuggling up underneath the bed during these kinds of times, rather than on it!
You might fall asleep with your dog on the bed with you, and wake up in the middle of the night to find them now sleeping under your bed. If there’s a thunderstorm going on, a loud event like fireworks, or if you have a sensitive dog, you might notice this behavior more often.
If you find yourself frequently dealing with an anxious or fearful dog, be sure to talk with your veterinarian about ways they can help you deal with your dog’s anxiety and help them with their sensitivities.
A Dark & Cozy Location
Another key reason behind your dog sleeping or hiding under your bed is that it’s a dark and cozy location, which is preferable to most dogs. Dogs are den animals, who love to find dark spots to tuck in and get comfortable, including inside crates and doghouses.
We have a Labrador that loves to seek out dark and quiet locations in confined spaces. He once jumped up inside a display of dog beds at a pet store to burrow underneath them and find a dark place to hide in the back of the shelf.
Dogs love to curl up into a circle and sleep tucked in inside confined places. You might notice your Labrador preferring to sleep in the corner of a room or with their back against a wall, rather than out in the open in the middle of the room.
They may like to sleep under other types of furniture as well, such as chairs, tables, or desks, in order to find a darker and cozier location.
Every dog is different, and while many dogs love to cuddle, some dogs also like to sleep alone and not be disturbed or bothered by other people or dogs, especially if you have a multiple-dog household.
Your Labrador might sleep under your bed because it provides the dark and cozy location they prefer, away from many of the noises of the rest of the house, and allowing them to be less likely to be disturbed when they sleep.
Playfulness or Excitability
Another reason your Lab might hide under your bed is because they’re feeling excited and playful, such as playing with or running from another dog.
If you have multiple Labs in your household, you’re probably familiar with your dogs running, chasing, and jumping on each other, both inside your home and out.
Sometimes dogs will chase another dog while playing, and if one dog is looking for a place to escape or hide, there’s no better spot to retreat to than under someone’s bed.
An excited Labrador might hide under the bed to get away from another dog chasing them, and sometimes a Labrador will sleep under the bed as a way of claiming space away from another dog.
We’ve had Labradors hide under the bed while playing with other dogs, and then end up falling asleep under there after a while. If one dog stays under the bed and doesn’t immediately come back out, it can signal to the other dog that they’re “finished playing” and ready to take a break.
In order to prevent problem behaviors, be sure to recognize when your dogs are tired of playing or overly excited, and watch for signs that they need to take a break from being around other dogs and people.
Familiar & Comforting Smells
Your bed is not only a cozy and dark location but a place that has comforting and familiar smells to your dog. Your dog’s nose is one of its strongest assets, and being around your scent is something that will draw your dog in and keep them there.
Your bed and sheets will carry your scent, and your dog might sleep under your bed (or under your sheets) as a way to keep your scent with them during their naptime. It’s a comforting smell to them!
They may seek out areas in your home that carry the strongest amount of your scent, such as bedding, sheets, clothes, and shoes. Sometimes Labradors will even take a nap on top of a pile of your clothes in the hamper!
To your Labrador, those items that carry your strongest scent are a happy reminder of their favorite people. Especially when you’re not at home, your dog may try to locate items that remind them of you, as a way of keeping you close until you arrive back home. Labs may choose to sleep on your bed (or under it) in order to be around those scents that comfort them and keep them content.
Summary – Why Dogs Sleep Under the Bed
Is your dog the type who loves to sleep under your bed? Many dogs love to find a cozy and secure spot to sleep, which may include sleeping underneath your bed or even hiding under the covers on top of it.
Your dog may sleep under your bed to cool off, avoid something fearful, find a dark and cozy napping spot, hide from another dog, or just be around the scent of their favorite people.
Not all Labrador Retrievers are fans of sleeping under the bed. If your dog happens to be one that is, we hope now you have a better understanding of why they do it, and the possible causes behind one of the more interesting aspects of Labrador life.