We’ve all heard the stories of finding about finding a dog’s collection of bones or other toys buried somewhere in the yard. In fact, dogs are even known to hide their bones under the couch or bed, or even bury them in their blankets. Often, they will even hide their bones and toys in one place, only to come back later, dig them up, and move them to another spot. It can be quite perplexing to watch your dog going through all of this. You’ve got to wonder what’s going through his head! It can be very upsetting too, especially if he’s destroying your yard with all of his digging. Some dogs are even known to hide things like shoes, jewelry, or even the television remote!
So, why do they do it? And how can you get them to stop?
It All Comes Down to Survival Instinct
Wild dogs hunt for food in packs. They work hard for their food, and they don’t want to have it stolen by other animals. They are born with a natural instinct to bury their extra food to hide it from other creatures. Then, they would come back later to dig it up and eat it, moving any leftovers to a new spot. If you think about it, not only would the food be hidden from other animals, but it would stay fresher, too, because the ground is cooler! Pretty smart, huh?
But, Why Do Domestic Dogs Bury Their Bones?
Even though your fur baby is spoiled and loved, and the days of having to hunt for food are long over, it’s still common to see him hiding his food. Even domestic dogs have an ingrained survival instinct that makes them want to be sure they’ll have food for later.
It’s also possible that you’re giving him too many bones, or too much food. If he’s got more than he needs at the moment, his instincts are telling him to hide the rest for later so no one else gets it. He might also bury a bone or toy if he’s bored with it, just to save it for later.
If you’re having issues with your dog burying your things, like shoes for example, it could be that he is simply playing a game. Maybe he just wants attention, or maybe he’s just plain bored!
How Do I Get Him to Stop?
Sometimes, simply rotating his bones and toys will do the trick. Put away the old bones and toys when he seems bored with them and give him something new. Don’t give him more than one or two bones or toys at a time. Also, make sure he’s getting lots of attention from you, as well as plenty of exercise. You should never punish him after the fact. He won’t understand what he did wrong. As with most things, prevention is much better than trying to fix it after the fact.
So, now you know! Your pooch doesn’t mean to be naughty, he’s just ”saving it for a rainy day!”