From terriers to greyhounds, different breeds of dogs make merry by concealing items beneath something. Typically, they will bury an object in shallow pits with soil. However, dogs can also place stuff under anything, including a pile of clothes.
While the behavior of dogs burying things is no cause of concern, it is fascinating to understand why a human’s most loyal pet exhibits such a trait. As you might be guessing, it has something to do with the fact that dogs are carnivores. But in totality, there are four primary reasons why dogs hide their possessions.
It is a natural instinct
Caesar’s Way, a book by a seasoned dog trainer, proposes that dogs catered to their nutritional needs before humans domesticated them. The carnivores would hunt in packs. To make a kill, a dog had to be patient and skilled. It made sense to protect their catch from other meat-eaters as it took a lot of energy to get food. With burying, dogs could suppress the scent of flesh and keep unwanted guests off their special meal. Concealing food under the dirt was also an excellent way to keep meat fresh away from the sunlight. While dogs don’t need to hunt today, they maintain the old habit of burying their possessions.
Your dog wants to play
Sometimes, your dog may bury something simply to get your attention or get you to play with them. Usually, dogs go after small items like a TV remote or a shoe. Other times, they conceal shiny items like your watch as it interests them. Such behavior may indicate boredom on your dog’s part. As a solution, you may walk your dog or provide some other form of exercise.
There is an overabundance
If you give dogs much of something, they instinctively bury it to show you they love it. It may be food or toys or anything else that makes your dog’s fancy tick. In case the dog obfuscates food in the soil, it may be an indication that you are over-feeding the pet. However, it can be a sign that the delicacy was so mouthwatering that the dog decided to hide some and savor its sweetness one more time.
If your dog buries toys, don’t be too quick to conclude that they are too many in the house. Sometimes, it tells that your pet loves the buried toys a lot and prefers to bury them for safekeeping. With time, you will learn what your dog is trying to communicate by keeping things buried.
Your dog is anxious or stressed
If feeling uncomfortable, your dog may explore digging as a soothing mechanism. The same applies if you feed your dog in a place that seems unsafe. The dog will bury the food and enjoy it after experiencing a sense of security. Seek a professional dog trainer’s advice if you notice your dog making holes in the ground wearing a distressed gaze.
It is genetic
Some dog breeds love burying things more than others. For example, beagles and terriers bury items more than Chihuahuas. Undoubtedly, any dog breed will dig up dirt sometimes. If you feel that your dog is overdoing it, be sure to check if the pet’s genetic makeup is a contributing factor.
To many dogs, digging and burying things is a fun exercise that takes place when your pet is happy and playful. However, the behavior may have a deeper meaning, such as a show of distress. If you doubt why your dog is digging or keeping items concealed, visiting a trainer or a veterinary may help.
If your dog occasionally digs in your backyard, ensure that any chemicals you spray don’t pose health threats to your pet. A veterinary can advise on what lawn care products to use to ensure your dog enjoys safe digging and burying.