Why Do Dogs Bury Toys And Treats?

Have you observed that your dog stores its treats in a safe place rather than eating them? similar to a small squirrel gathering nuts for the winter?

Puppies rushing off to bury their bones in the garden is one of the most popular cartoon dog portrayals, but have you ever wondered why?

Let's investigate this peculiar behavior a little more closely:

What makes dogs bury treats?

What makes dogs bury objects?

Where in the house do dogs hide things?

What dog breeds conceal toys and treats?

Three strategies to prevent your dog from stowing away treats and toys

What makes dogs bury treats?

A natural instinctual behavior that dates back to a dog's wild ancestors is hiding treats and toys. Due to the uncertainty of their next meal, hiding leftover food is a survival technique.

Therefore, you might be shocked to learn that it's a rather typical canine behavior if you've ever wondered why dogs hide their treats. Even though our pups may not have to contend with these challenging circumstances or fierce food rivalry any longer, the instinct is still there!

Dogs conceal their rewards for three reasons:

Instinct: Because wolves, coyotes, and other wild descendants of Canids hunt and live in groups, there is fierce competition for food. To ensure there will always be food, people have learned to hoard and protect leftover meat.

Although since becoming domesticated, our dogs have become accustomed to a life of luxury, the instinct is still present.

Overfeeding: Overfeeding is another frequent reason why dogs hide treats. Hiding treats can indicate that you are giving your dog more food than is necessary. If a healthy dog is saving leftover food for later, it may be a sign that you are giving out too many treats and meals, and you should rethink your approach.

The danger arises when dogs are overfed but continue to consume excessive treats, which can result in obesity. Because of this, it's crucial to pay attention to how much food your dog is receiving.

Anxiety: For some dogs, hiding food is a reaction to a bad memory from the past. Rescue dogs, whether they are from the streets or a shelter, are likely to have had to compete for resources at a young age, so this behavior can be seen frequently in them.

If you believe this to be the case with your rescue dog or if your pup has displayed other indications of canine depression, you may want to discuss this with a trainer. The problem, though, can start to go away once your rescue dog has settled.

What makes dogs bury objects?

Another habit that derives from their innate impulses is burying the food rather than just hiding it. In the wild, burying food helps it stay fresh and marinates it with the flavors of the soil while also keeping it out of the reach of scavengers. Again, domesticated dogs don't have to be concerned about hiding food from other predators, but the ingrained need frequently persists.

Having said that, another reason a dog might hide their food is if they don't feel secure enough to consume it right now. It's not uncommon for your dog to bury the food if it finds itself in a stressful situation and then find it again when it's calm enough to eat.

Where in the house do dogs hide things?

Among the strangest locations dogs have been found to conceal items are:
  • beneath carpets
  • Within blankets and beds
  • the cushions on the back of the couch.
  • in the pile of soiled laundry!
  • During the daytime?

You've probably seen movies of adorable dogs acting as if they were burying their food or toys with invisible dirt. Or perhaps your own dog has displayed this peculiar behavior! Funny enough, that happens pretty frequently.

Therefore, if you're feeling anxious, try to relax because your dog is OK. For the same reasons as above, this is simply their natural inclination to act, but instead of taking the food away to hide, they merely pretend to nose some unseen dirt over their feeding dish.

What dog breeds conceal toys and treats?

There are some breeds that are more inclined than others to dig and bury their resources.

Even the most domesticated of the Beagle, Dachshund, and Basset Hound breeds still exhibit this behavior because they were all developed as hunting and scenting dogs in the beginning.

Terriers are known food scavengers and will hide their treats from you by hoarding and burying them. He will simply dig it up and rebury it if he learns that you have found his cache. This can turn into a pleasant game for many dogs where they compete for your attention.

Remember that any dog breed has the ability to dig, even though particular breeds may be more likely to display this behavior.

Four strategies to get your dog to stop hiding food and toys include:

We don't blame you if you're getting a little tired of stumbling onto concealed dog toys when you crawl into bed or finding stale, wet snacks on the sofa. Perhaps your dog's digging is ruining the carpet, and you worry that some of the dog toys are lost forever. Fortunately, there are techniques to prevent your dog from stowing away goodies and toys:

  • Establish a food schedule for your dog and follow it. Try giving your dog several smaller meals throughout the day if they often only eat a few mouthfuls before hoarding the rest. Maintaining the habit can help your dog anticipate future meals.
  • Make sure you are not overfeeding your dog, and take away the bowl as soon as they are finished to prevent them from concealing the leftovers.
  • Trick training and brain exercises help keep your dog mentally and physically active to prevent bad habits from forming.
  • Purchase a noisy squeaky toy so you can track out where your dog has stolen it. We assure you that the squeaky toys in our selection are loud enough.

How to let your dog continue to hide objects

Avoid hitting or yelling at your dog. This is never a proper method of teaching, and it might make your dog scared of you, which might make them act aggressively.

Don't chase your dog or make a big deal out of them. This may promote the behavior since your dog may believe you are rewarding them and have made a game out of it.

The use of negative reinforcement should be avoided. This would include taking your dog's treats or toys away without giving them anything in exchange, neither teaching them anything nor providing a distraction.

Even though it's amusing to consider why our dogs hide their goodies and toys, it's time to make changes now that you know why.

Reach out to a dog trainer or behaviorist if you notice that you are having trouble and they can show you how to utilize positive reinforcement techniques to train your pet not to hide items.

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