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Why do dogs often run to a corner in fear and anxiety?

This is a common issue that many experienced dog owners find hard to handle. Your dog may be playing happily for a moment, then suddenly it starts running to a quiet corner in your house, and starts barking, or in more severe cases, constant whining.

In such a case, you can be sure that your dog is afraid. This fear leads to anxiety, and is often caused by something that has triggered one of your dog’s 3 senses.

1. It’s sense of smell
2. It’s sense of sound
3. Missing it’s pack

Sense of smell

We all know that dogs rely a lot on their sense of smell. When you observe your dog sniffing around the grass during a walk, it is actually learning about what is around. This is why it is common for dog trainers to say that the duration of the walk is more important than the distance of the walk. How much your dog enjoys the walk depends on how much it has “learnt and experienced” during the walk.

The sense of smell is crucial to any dog, and if your dog is showing signs of anxiety, the first thing to do is to make sure that your dog is able to smell your scent around it. This is also the reason why some dog owners tend to leave their worn clothes in their dog’s cage in hopes of calming their dog. However, the smell we leave on our clothes will not last long enough to keep our dog’s calm for a long time.


Sense of sound

Dogs are very sensitive to sound. A great way to identify if your dog has heard something that is causing it anxiety, is to observe it’s ears just before it starts barking or running to hide. If it’s ears spring up and start rotating left and right, and you see your dog staring in a single direction for a period of time, you can be sure it has heard something that has startled it.

When this happens, it is important for your dog to be able to confide in a comfortable tight space. This will prevent it from feeling vulnerable in an open area to fend on it’s own.


Missing it’s pack

Many pet owners misunderstand this to having to find their dog a companion. While finding a companion may help one’s dog in many ways, it is ineffective in solving anxiety. To your dog, you are the caregiver and also it’s pack leader. You and your family form the “pack”, your dog’s family.

The solution to this is to provide a firm yet soft surface with a  rim that is about the height of your dog when it lies down. The rim should not be too high, and must not cover over the head of your dog. Having a cover over your dog’s head may help your dog in the short term, but will lead to more anxiety issues in future.

The key is for the firmness of the base and rim to be similar to that of another dog. This will allow your dog to snuggle among the bed and rim and feel secure.

However, this is not all. Material for this base and rim should have furry “fingers” so that your dog’s scent as well as yours will stay in the bed. This scent is important because it instantly communicates confidence and security in your dog.

Having the right mix of firmness and the retention of familiar smell will help your dog to calm down quickly.

In the next post, we will discuss how you can solve these 3 issues so that your dog can be a happy dog.


The question in this sharing had been asked by one of our customers. Thank you so much for submitting in questions on your dog’s anxiety issues. If you have any questions on how to deal with your dog’s anxiety, please email us at help.happypetowner@gmail.com