Have you ever given your dog a treat or new toy, only for them to hide or bury it in the garden? Dogs are often predisposed to hide their favourite things in safe places and even squirrel away items that don’t belong to them. Find out why dogs have this urge and what your dog may be trying to tell you with this behaviour.
When a dog buries a bone, it is due to a strong survival instinct. This instinct has been inherited from your dog’s ancestors; wild dogs and grey wolves. For wild dogs, food was not always the easiest to come by, so dogs would bury food close to their dens and return when food was scarce.
Burying food keeps it out of the sun and therefore preserves it. The deeper the hole, the cooler the earth’s temperature, which means the dog’s spoils would be safe to eat at a later date.
While domesticated dogs no longer need to worry about where their food is going to come from, their instinct takes over and they will often bury their favourite items to keep them safe and protected.
For some dog breeds, the instinct to dig is stronger than others. Breeds such as Terriers, Dachshunds, Beagles, Basset Hounds and Miniature Schnauzers are all known to be keen diggers. Although you may not think it, due to their tiny features, Dachshunds were actually bred to hunt. Generations ago, these little dogs used to dig to help with searches and for many, the trait has continued down the breeding line. All dog breeds potentially have the digging trait, so if your dog starts digging up your garden, this is normal behaviour.
As dog parents, we all know the importance of a daily walk and exercise to keep your pooch stimulated and healthy. If dogs don’t get the exercise they need, some will pick up certain behaviours to avoid boredom. This might mean that your pooch has decided to bury the television remote to get the attention they crave!
Another great way to keep your dog occupied after their daily exercise is with a TastyBone. With so many different flavours and guaranteed to last for 100 days, our TrioBones are a great way to keep your pooch entertained.
Stress and anxiety can play a huge part in your dog’s behaviour and for some dogs, this can lead to digging. Dogs that are anxious will turn to digging as a way to calm and self-soothe themselves. If a dog does not feel safe or is not comfortable in the area they are fed, they may decide to hide their food in a safer spot. This behaviour is often seen in a multi-dog household or for those dogs who may have experienced limited food sources, such as a rescue dog.
If your pooch is showing signs of anxiety through digging, it is best to keep their routine consistent to try and help with the symptoms. If this doesn’t help, speak with your local veterinary practice for further advice on how to help dog anxiety.
You’re giving them too much
For some dogs who like to bury things, it could be that you’re feeding them too much. This can be true of toys and treats. If you’re overly-generous, your dog may not feel the need to eat their treat or play with their toy there and then. Instead, they will bury it and save it for a later date!
A spot to cool off
If you find your dog digging on a hot summer’s day, it is likely they are trying to find a spot to cool down. While the top layer of soil may be hot from the baking sun, the ground underneath will be much cooler. If you find your dog doing this and you don’t have access to a paddling pool or cold water, why not buy a cooling mat or coat to help them cool off!
Does your dog love to bury things? Tell us all about their digging antics on our social channels.