Do not be surprised when you see your dog bury his head in the blankets on some occasions.
There are many explanations for this burrow’s behavior.
A dog buries his head in blankets because he is stressed out or to keep himself warm. It could be his natural burrowing instinct or his attempt to stay away from odors, sounds or the brightness in the room. It could be a bad habit that he had picked up, or he likes to indulge in the scent of the blanket.
His Way Of Handling Stress
In fact, many times when you find your dog curled up under a blanket, he could be feeling stressed or anxious.
He may also start biting at the blanket as a way to express his anxiety.
It’s his way of coping with the stress in his life.
For humans, we will find ways to relieve our stress, such as exercising, mediation or talking to a trusted friend or family member.
But for your dog, his way of dealing with stress will be to “hide” in a blanket which offers him comfort and security.
In any case, this is a sign your dog will need comfort and reassurance.
What you should do is give him a gentle, reassuring hug and maybe rub his head and tell him how much you love him.
This will almost always take the edge off whatever was stressing him out in the first place, as he will be focusing his attention on you and take his mind off what was bothering him.
His Way Of Handling Fear
Your dog will find his way to keep himself safe and sound whenever he needs it most.
He is likely going to a place that he is familiar and comfortable with.
And… that has to be his beloved CRATE…
That’s right, if your dog has been crate trained, he will see the crate as his den, a personal secure and safe place to be in when he feels threatened.
You would often see him retreat to his crate and hide under a blanket whenever he feels nervous and anxious.
It could be the case when there are loud noises such as thunder and fireworks going around, or you have a group of visitors coming to your home who he is unfamiliar with.
It’s a natural thing for him to do, and he is protecting himself by hiding in his personal secure and safe place.
To Get Some Warm (Due To Cold Weather)
What would you do during the winter time in your bed? I guess you would hide yourself in a blanket to keep yourself warm.
This goes for your dog as well.
During the cold weather, your dog will want to stay close to you (to get some “human” warmth), He needs you to be his “warm spot”.
If he is not getting that from you, he will try to find it elsewhere and one of the ways is to hide under a blanket to keep himself warm or to sit on another dog to get his body warmth.
This is especially so for short haired breeds such as Boxers, Bull Terriers, Great Danes, Pugs or Mastiffs where they do not have thick fur to keep them warm.
So, if your dog belongs to a short haired breed, you need to pay special attention to him during the winter months.
You can get him dog pyjamas or maybe set up a heat lamp for your dog’s crate if he is sleeping inside the crate.
Bad Habit Pick Up (From YOU!)
Just like people, who will learn and pick up some undesirable habits along the way, your dog will also have a natural tendency to “practice” what you have done!
So, if you have a habit of burying your head in a blanket during your sleep, your dog will eventually start doing it too!
And since he finds that there is nothing wrong with this action, he will continue this bad habit until you stop him!
After all, it’s what he has learned from you!
His Natural Burrowing Instinct
Dogs living in the modern world still have that “wild” instinct that was passed down from their ancestors to do their burrow.
They do it in the wild for reasons such as to hide from predators, to chase after their prey, to prepare a cooling spot to lay down or even to dig holes in the ground to bury things.
This is especially so for breeds that like to dig, such as terriers, huskies and malamutes.
And since your dog couldn’t do his burrowing while he was in the house, he would simply burrow into the blanket, something that he could easily access.
He Likes The Smell Of the Blanket
Your dog likes the scent of his blanket and, by burying his head in it, he gets to inhale the scent at his own leisure pace.
In fact, a dog’s sense of smell is up to 1,000 times stronger than ours! That means your dog will be able to sniff out even the tiniest amounts of the scent on the blanket buried in his bed.
Therefore, whenever you see your dog with his head buried in a blanket or some other object, just remember that he is inhaling the scent of the object and loving it!
In this case, you should make a point of washing his blanket regularly to remove any odor that “sticks” on the blanket.
Wrong “Signal” Given To Him
Make sure that you are not feeding him right before you put the blanket on him.
That’s because he will associate the blanket with feeding and whenever he is feeling hungry, he will bury himself in his blanket.
And if you remove the blanket without feeding him, he’ll think something strange has happened.
He won’t know how to react to it and that can cause him some anxiety.
So feed him a few hours earlier before you put a blanket on him for a sleep on a winter night.
Brightness That Bothers Him
You may not like the idea of sleeping with the light on. This certainly applies to your dog as well.
If he is sleeping in a crate and the room is brightly lit, he would likely hide in his blanket. So make sure that you prepare a place that is dim and cool for him.
Place some curtains over the windows during the day as this will help keep the room dimmer.
Or you can cover the crate with a curtain to make it more dim and cozy for him.
Make sure that you leave an “opening” so that he can get some fresh air and will not get suffocated.
Odor In The Room That Irritates Him
Don’t forget about odors! Are there any strong or unpleasant odors in the room where you are going to keep your dog?
He could be hiding in his blanket in an attempt to “stay away” from the irritating scent.
This is particularly so if you have just painted the room or got some new furniture or laid a carpet in the room.
Your dog might not like the smell of these changes and goes into “hiding” in his blanket.
What you can do is to move his crate to another room and see if this will make him do away with his “hiding”.
Sounds That Bother Him
I’m sure you have that occasion where you hide under the blanket to do your studies because of the external sounds that bother you.
Well, this is precisely what your dog is trying to do, muffing the sounds that bother him by burrowing into his blanket.
You will often see this when there are construction works going on around your home or your kid’s friends are coming over, and they are shouting and yelling around.
In fact, if he could talk, he would tell you to give him a “silent break”.
Your dog is having a busy day keeping an eye on what’s happening in your home, ensuring that everyone in the family is safe and sound.
Once he sees that you are back home, he handles that duty over to you and “switching” his vigilance off.
This is when he will burrow into his blanket to take a good rest, knowing that you will take care of him as well.
A blanket offers him a sense of security and comfort as well as warmth and softness.
It also provides him with a sense of belonging as if he is in a den.