As a dog owner, you might have noticed your dog flipping his bed over and might have been wondering why he is doing strange things to its bed like digging it and even throwing it over.
Then, why does my dog flip his bed over? Reasons are that your dog doesn't like the space where you've placed its bed or like the bed in general, or your dog is ensuring no threats are lurking underneath its bed, or your dog just needs some alone time.
This post would help unravel the root of your dog's behavior and educate you on what your response should be when your dog acts this way.
The key is to know these various reasons and what triggers them, to easily identify which is influencing your dog's actions.
1. Your dog is looking out for any threats:
Out in the wild, decades ago before dogs were domesticated, they always had to protect themselves against harm. This meant occasionally having to be extra vigilant to wade off wild animals like snakes, scorpions, and other similar creatures that may be on the floor.
Although there is hardly any chance of animals like these getting into your home to harm your dog, still this instinct persists. Hence, your dog throwing its bed over might be because it's on the watch out for any potential threats that might be lurking under its bed.
2. Your dog is being territorial:
Dogs are usually very protective of the things they like , this can be their toys, their feeding bowl, where they’re sleeping and even their humans.
Your dog flipping its bed over might be because it's trying to pass along a statement that "this belongs to me, not you".
This would most likely be the case if you just got a new addition to the family, for example, if you just had a new baby, or a new roommate recently moved in, or if you just got new pets around the house.
Your dog might throw its bed over in a bid to tell this person whose scent it doesn't recognize, that this belongs to him and he doesn't plan on sharing. Territorial behavior towards a particular item in dogs is usually accompanied by them marking it.
So you might also notice your dog scratching profusely at its bed, the aim is to put its scent all over it to warn this stranger away.
3. Your dog does not like its bed:
While the thought of your dog not liking its bed might not have crossed your mind, the truth is that this might be a valid reason for your dog flipping its bed over. Some dogs have preferences for their toys, playing with one more than the other, so why not be picky about their bed too.
Yes!, you might be more particular about the important things like if the bed is made from non-toxic materials, if it is orthopedic, if it washes well in a machine and comes out well under a dryer, and if it has a waterproof base.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but your dog could care less about this kind of stuff, your dog only cares about it being warm enough, or soft enough or comfortable enough.
Usually, big dogs prefer beds that allow them to stretch out their joints and muscles while smaller dogs love beds that allow them to curl up into themselves.
However, this should not be taken as a rule of thumb as some small dogs prefer larger beds. The key here is to get to know your dog by observing it, to know what it likes and what it doesn't like.
4. Your dog is trying to make its bed comfortable:
Your dog flipping its bed over might be a dog version of fluffing out your pillow or scratching the blanket.
Maybe your dog noticed sand on its bed or that the bed stuffings have shifted unevenly and your dog is trying to move the bed around to its taste.
Before dogs were taken into homes, they made their beds themselves by gathering supplies and arranging it in a way that would appease them and give them comfort, even now that they've long been domesticated, they still act similarly.
5. Your dog is bored:
Dogs are active beings and don't like to be dormant for too long. They love to play around and make messes as they go. Your dog flipping its bed over could be because it is bored and wishes to dispense its excessive energy especially at night.
This would most likely be the case if you haven't been taking your dog for its regular exercises and walks, or if you haven't left your dog with many toys to play with at home.
You can easily remedy this by providing your dog with as much physical activity as is recommended for its breed, this would help tire him out and prevent the usual wrecking of his bed and other materials in the house.
It is important to note that your dog flipping and destroying its bed every time you're away might be a sign of separation anxiety.
Hence, pay attention to other signs of anxiety-associated habits in your dog to ensure that this is not the case. Contacting your dog behaviorist if you believe your dog is suffering from separation anxiety.
6. Your dog wants to be alone:
Your dog flipping its bed over might be because it's being disturbed and it doesn't appreciate this.
This would most likely be the case if your dog not only flips its bed over but also tries to move it to a more secluded and private spot in the house, or even tries to get under it.
Perhaps, your dog's bed is in a noisy area like around the kitchen where the noise from the blender is sure to disturb its peaceful rest. Notice when your dog messes with its bed, are there noises around its space?
7. Your dog doesn't feel safe here:
Dogs always feel secure when they can spot an approaching danger before it eventually reaches them.
This is why dogs like to enter into closets or lean on walls whenever they feel scared or terrified, it makes them certain that the threat can only come from ahead, rather than from every direction.
Your dog might be flipping its bed over because it doesn't like where you have placed it, perhaps it's in an open area with too many noise sources.
Your dog might not know what to make of the loud noises coming from the drilling machines coming from a construction site some short distance from your house, or the loud music coming from your neighbor's stereo and this might terrify it, causing your dog to flip its bed over creating a safe, dark space for it to crawl under.
While there is no verbal way to ask your dog why it is acting in a particular way, however, there are ways to decode the reason behind your dog's behavior, certain body languages you can read, a few things to look out for in its outer environment that might cause this sort of response.
As a dog owner, you might not like the sight of your dog messing around with its bed, but you must understand that this is more about your dog than your pleasure.
You don't want to discourage your dog from making its bed as comfortable as possible, or removing the tiny pebbles that are disturbing his skin when he lies down to rest.
So, if you believe your dog's habit doesn't directly affect its health or the well-being of others then it's usually best to let it be and not think too much of it.