Why Does My Dog Bury Her Head In The Couch? (9 Reasons And Solutions)
Dogs are an amazing addition to your life, not only can they provide love and laughs, but can also bring lots of comfort and pure happiness. From the silly games you play with them to the peacefulness of snuggling up with your pup after a long day, dogs provide an emotional support that other pets struggle to compete with.
However, at times our furry friends may act in strange ways, leaving us scratching our heads. While quirky dog behaviors can be amusing we need to understand what causes these odd behaviors and know how to address them in a healthy way.
Being a good dog owner means knowing what to do if, and how to stop your dog when she starts acting crazy and flipping her bed over or grossing you out with licks every morning.
By recognizing why our beloved pup is acting out and providing reassuring responses, we create a healthier bond with our canine pals.
So, what about dogs who stick their heads into the couch? Why does my dog bury her head in the couch? The quick and easy answer is likely one of the following reasons. Your dog buries her head in the couch because you trained her to, something smells good in the couch, it’s comfortable to put her head there, she hiding, her face itches, she’s trying to put her scent on the couch, she’s bored, the couch is nice and warm or it’s become a habit for her to bury her head in the couch.
Reasons Dogs Bury Their Heads In The Couch
As you can see, when it comes to why your dog is burying her head in the couch, there are several possible explanations. To help you determine which is your dog’s reason, I’ll go over them one by one.
She Was Trained To
Dogs are smart and can easily learn a behavior if you reward them for doing it. Maybe you did so without thinking…giving your dog some ear scratches as she buried her head in the couch trying to get closer to you. Or maybe your kids were trying to train your dog to do a new trick.
No matter the reason, if someone consistently rewarded your dog while she was burying her head in the couch, she’ll keep doing it to try and get more of those loving pets or tasty treats.
It Smells Good In There
Whether someone regularly leaves crumbs when they eat on the couch. Or the couch smells of your dog’s favorite human, the scent of a couch spot can be a good reason for your dog to bury her head in it.
She might be after comforting reassurance, or a tasty bite. Burying her head in the couch allows her to get close to (and maybe even eat!) whatever smells she finds soothing or enjoyable.
This might even include scents left by other family pets in your household, or smells released by the furniture fabric itself.
Just like you, for many dogs, having their head near something soft and squishy is just plain comfortable. Whether they feel safe while snuggling up against something warm and cozy like a cushion, or simply enjoy the feeling of being surrounded by soft fabric, burying their heads in couches gives many pups a sense of contentment and satisfaction.
In some cases, dogs may bury their heads into couches when they are scared and trying to hide away from someone or something that is causing them distress.
This could be due to loud noises coming from outside like thunderstorms or fireworks, or an unfamiliar person or even another pet coming into their home.
Dogs that feel this stressed and anxious about something will attempt to cope in whatever way they think will help.
Hiding her head in a couch could make your dog feel safe. If you suspect this is the reason your dog is burying her head in your couch, pay attention to exactly when she does it. You should be able to figure out (and address) the cause of her anxiety.
Her Face Itches
One reason dogs will rub their face on many things, and even bury their whole head, is that they’re scratching an itch.
It’s natural for them to try to scratch those areas with an object, like the corner or side of a couch cushion.
Spreading Her Scent
Dogs have a powerful sense of smell, so they often use objects to mark territory as well as display ownership. When she buries her head in a spot like a couch cushion, she’s leaving behind her scent and marking that space as hers.
Dogs need stimulation; if they don’t get enough mental and physical exercise throughout the day, they may start looking for other ways to occupy their time…like burying their head in the couch cushions!
If you think this might be an issue with your pup, try providing her with new toys or activities that will help keep her entertained and active. She’ll thank you for it!
The Couch Is Warm
Have you ever noticed how warm a seat is just after someone has been sitting on it? Your pup probably notices too!
Dogs love feeling that warmth against their bodies – just like we do – and may seek out spots where someone recently sat (like on the couch) so that they can snuggle up against its warmth.
Finally, one of the least obvious reasons why your good girl buries her head in the couch is simply because she’s developed a habit of doing so.
Maybe she did have a good reason in the past, like she enjoyed the warmth, or was rewarded with attention and treats, or something in the house was scaring her.
Now, however, that reason has passed…but because your dog buried her face in the couch so many times, she’s simply used to doing it.
Dogs do well with familiarity and routine, so this might be what causes your dog to continue putting her head in the couch.
My Dog Suddenly Started Burying Her Head In The Couch
If your dog never used to bury her head in the cough but suddenly started then something probably changed in your dog’s life.
While it is often a sign of sickness or injury when a dog suddenly starts a new behavior, keep in mind it could be something else too.
If you brought a new pet home, the kids are playing too rough with her, or someone has recently started eating on the couch and leaving crumbs everywhere, your dog could have a new reason to put her head in the couch.
Fortunately, if your dog suddenly starts doing something new, you can likely figure out why. Pay special attention to your dog’s overall behavior to make sure she isn’t hurt or ill.
Once that is ruled out, address any new stressors or rewards that could send your dog toward the couch.
Is It Okay For My Dog To Bury Her Head In The Couch?
After reading the reasons why you can understand all the reasons why dogs bury their head in your couch – it’s warm, a good place to hide, and comfy; just to name a few reasons!
But is this behavior okay for your furry friend? The answer is ‘technically yes’, but there are a few important things you should keep in mind.
First and foremost, you should probably consider why your pup is burying her head in the couch to begin with. Is she anxious or scared? If the reason is a symptom of something serious, you’d be wise to take care of that issue.
If the cause is something silly and you think it’s cute, be aware that your pup’s head isn’t likely the cleanest thing your couch has seen. Covered in lots of dirt and debris – drool, hair, sweat, etc.
If you don’t regularly clean your couch but your dog does regularly bury her face in it then your couch can start to smell pretty foul.
So you might find it important to regularly clean the spot where your dog likes to bury her head – maybe even every time she does it! A quick vacuum or wipe-down with an antibacterial cleaner should help a lot.
So, as long as your dog’s head burying ways aren’t a symptom of a serious issue, you don’t mind cleaning (or having) a dirty couch, and the behavior doesn’t bother you…then yes, it is okay for your dog to bury her head in the couch.
How Do You Stop Your Dog From Burying Her Head In The Couch?
If this is your first run-in with stopping odd dog behaviors, then getting your dog to quit burying her head in the couch can be an intimidating prospect. After all, where do you even begin?
Fortunately, it’s really not that difficult. All you need is a bit of knowledge and patience.
First off, as I said above, it’s important to figure out why she’s burying her head in your couch – is it due to anxiety or because she wants to warm up her ears? Addressing the underlying issues is the first priority.
This could include providing an environment she feels safe in (no unruly children to bother her for example), giving ample exercise opportunities (both physical and mental), or making sure there are no crumbs in the cushions (time to invest in a proper T.V. tray!).
Unless your dog is a puppy, she has hopefully been introduced to essential basic obedience commands like ‘no’ and ‘off’. These commands allow you to direct her away from the couch when she starts burying her head.
Remember to avoid resorting to scolding or shouting. Training and using commands should be done calmly but firmly – dogs respond best to positive reinforcement!
Once those commands have been established, you can try introducing a new command: ‘go to spot‘. Pick a spot that your dog will be comfortable being sent to, because you will likely use this command in other situations as well.
If there isn’t already a good candidate, create one! Get a new dog bed, and place it where your dog will be comfortable…try to find somewhere where she can get loves and observe the family and also be out of the way. Then choose a name for that spot so you can train her.
This will encourage your pup to move away from the couch and go to her new spot that is comfortable and where you would like her to be. Make sure it is a comfy spot that she can lie down in and feel safe and secure!
Keep in mind that both mental and physical exercise are important parts of your dog’s life. By keeping her active and engaged with mental activities like puzzles (which are great for stimulating her mind) and physical activities like walks, your dog will be much less likely to act out of boredom. If needed you can also try distracting and redirecting her attention with mental and/or physical exercise when her head-burying ways are about to start back up.
Finally, if you want it to stop, make sure you don’t encourage it – no matter how cute it may seem – by giving her attention when she buries her head in the couch. Instead, make sure you give her love and affection only when she properly obeys your commands.
In addition, if things get really serious then don’t hesitate to call in professional help – whether it’s consulting with your vet or enrolling in professional dog training classes with an experienced trainer!
Summary: Why Do Dogs Put Their Heads In The Couch?
Your dog may be burying her head in the couch for one or several of multiple reasons, such as:
- You Encouraged Her And Now She’s Trained To Do It
- It Smells Good In There (She Wants Whatever She Smells)
- It’s A Comfortable Spot To Put Her Head
- She’s Hiding (Something Has Her Stressed Or Is Giving Her Anxiety)
- Her Face Itches
- To Put Her Scent On The Couch
- It’s Warm (Especially If Someone Was Just Sitting There!)
You might be worried about your dog burying her head in your couch but, if your good girl’s head-burying ways aren’t a symptom of a serious issue, it is okay…just as long as you’re prepared to do some extra cleaning!
The best way to have your pup stop burying her head in the couch is to address any underlying issues causing the behavior, make sure she understands basic obedience commands like ‘no’ and ‘off’, create a comfortable spot away from the furniture and redirect her attention with mental and physical activities when needed.
And remember – never encourage this behavior by giving your good girl love and affection when she buries her head in the couch.
If things are seriously out of control, then don’t hesitate to call in professional help. With the right approach, you and your pup can have a happy and healthy living space together.
By following these suggestions, you’ll be well on your way toward helping prevent your dog from burying her head in the couch. With just a bit of knowledge, understanding and dedication on your part – along with lots of love – you can guide her towards healthier habits that both you and she will benefit from.