Dogs love to be rewarded with treats, but they hide the treat in their couch cushions or the backyard. Is this not strange behaviour? This behaviour is common in many dogs. But why do dogs bury things? Continue reading to learn more about hoarding behaviours in dogs and what you can do.
What Causes Dogs to Bury Things?
There are many reasons your dog might be buried. These are some of the most common causes for this behaviour in dogs.
What is the reason dogs burrow things? It’s often because they are wired to. This is an instinct they have inherited from their ancestors. They bury the food in the ground to find or scavenge large meals. This is both to preserve the food and protect it from other scavengers. Domesticated dogs can eat like clockwork and don’t need to store food later. However, their instinctual behaviour tells them otherwise.
This dog breed was deliberately bred to retain its hunting instincts. This instinct is present in all dogs at some point, but it seems to be stronger in small-game dogs. Terriers and the smaller members of the hound family, such as basset hounds and beagles, have a higher propensity to dig and bury objects. It is likely that they also have the instinct to keep their “catches” alive.
Anxiety and Possessiveness
Digging is a great way to soothe dogs. Digging and burying objects can be a great way to soothe anxiety or depression. Dogs who feel threatened by competition for food or other resources like toys might hide their belongings to protect them. This can be especially true for small dogs like Chihuahuas, who are afraid of taking their stuff away by larger pets. This could explain why your little dog finds treat, chew toys, and pieces of kibble under the furniture or between the cushions.
This could explain why dogs hide their toys and food, but they also bury things that aren’t theirs. Your dog might enjoy digging up your stuff. This could be because they are bored and trying to get your attention. Your dog might consider burying your belongings a fun game and invite you to join in.
Curbing the urge to Bury Things
American Kennel Club suggests that dogs prone to burying toys or food might have been given too much. You should not feed your dog too much or leave them with the food they don’t need. If they are digging up toys rather than playing with them, limit their toys at once and rotate them every week. Regular exercise and giving your dog lots of attention can help reduce their urge to dig.
Dogs should be allowed to be dogs and use their instincts. Instead of trying to teach your dog not to dig or bury things, give them places inside and out where they can exercise their instincts.