Krista Doyle / 2021-10-03 08:42:46 / 0 Comments

4 Possible Reasons Why Dogs Bury Things

Many pet owners have experienced their dog begging for a treat then burying it or hiding under the couch. It's understandable that the behavior leaves some people puzzled, but this is actually a thing most dogs will do out of instinct. There are plenty of theories why dogs bury things. The thing is, a number of reasons could explain your dog's burying habit. Here are a few of the most common culprits:

1. It’s a dog’s instinct!

Given their instinctive genes, it's not surprising that dogs like to bury things. Dogs will bury the leftover bits of their food for protection, to make sure other animals can't get it and because it doesn't smell.

Even though domesticated dogs have a more comfortable life than their ancestors, they still have an instinctual need to get food even when there is plenty.

2. The hunting breed

The hunting instinct can be seen in all dogs to some extent, but it is most pronounced in dogs that were bred to hunt small game. The following dog breeds are likely to love digging and burying things:

  • Dachshunds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Basset hounds
  • Airedales
  • Manchester Terriers
  • Beagles
  • Miniature Schnauzers

These dogs have been selectively bred to retain more of their hunting instincts, and the fact that they sometimes carry their prey around might be a sign of an instinct to preserve them.

A Dachshund dog

3. It’s their anti-stress therapy

Many dogs find digging to be a great way to release stress (peeing on the carpet is not included). Those who cannot find ways to cope with anxiety may turn this behavior into a form of therapy by burying objects.

For households with lots of dogs, some might seek to keep belongings safe. Chihuahuas for example are small and don't want anyone to take anything away from them. Smaller dogs usually hide their food or chew toys when they're finished with them. This is to avoid sharing the treats with other people and animals in the household.

4. They could simply be bored

Dogs are typically pretty protective of their food and toys, but some may also bury things that don't belong to them. Dogs find secret hiding places and bury objects when they're bored, so keep an eye on them to ensure they aren't hoarding something you need. Dogs are likely to behave in a certain way when they feel neglected or ignored until you give them your attention. You can always trust your dog to bury your things for you- this is because they find it fun. Do it to play with them, too!

Bored dog

But what do I do if they tend to dig and bury a lot?

If your dog has made a habit of burying their food or toys, it may be because they're being offered too much food at once. If this seems to be the case for your pooch, try restricting feeding to a certain time each day and see if that helps.

Make sure you're not overfeeding or over-treating your dog and leaving them with a surplus of food that they feel like they need to save for later.

If your dog is always burying their toys instead of playing with them, you might want to limit the amount they have access to or rotate them weekly. Setting aside a good chunk of the day to exercise your dog and give them a lot of attention can help cut down on the impulse to dig in your backyard. In turn, this will reduce their desire to steal and hide items from you.

Have fun rather than getting stressed!

Dogs need a lot of exercise, so it's important to give them opportunities to explore and have fun. Instead of constantly trying to stop your dog burrowing in your house, give them access to both inside and outside areas where they are allowed to dig. You can install a playpen in the backyard or use pillows and blankets indoors to create an enclosed space which can also be your dog's new favorite game - hunt out the treats!