Give a dog a bone and off he goes to bury it. Have you ever wondered just why your dog does this?
Basically, the behavior pattern of burying objects is canine nature that stems from dog’s early days on this planet. Life was not always as easy as nudging the master’s arm to get fed. Before dogs were domesticated, they spent their days hunting and surviving. A loving look at their master was not something that was going to earn them a bone. They had to fight for their food and fend off other animals that were determined to take it from them once they made the kill. Your dog’s tendency to bury items is a part of its instinct for self-preservation.
To further understand your dog’s urge to bury things, let us step back in time to a period when life was hard for dogs. They had to compete with other dogs and larger wild predators for food. Once they did find a source of food, they had to work hard to protect it from other animals that were all too willing to take it for themselves.
Burying food items became natural instinct. Dogs had to bury food so that their predators didn’t smell it. Thus, once the kill was made, it was natural for a dog to have a fast meal and hurriedly bury the rest for a later time when they could retrieve it without worry of others stealing their prey.
Dogs are far from stupid beings. They learned to bury any excess of food so that it was available later when times got tough. Tough times might have been a result of a severe blizzard, a raging flood or a drought that killed off many wild animals.
Another advantage of burying food items that attract flies, insects or mold is the fact that buried food stays cooler than food that is subject to baking in the hot sun. In essence, burying the excess was a dog’s way of stocking his or her shelves for leaner times.
In many cases, dogs bury more than food. It is not at all unusual to have a dog that buries toys. Some canines will go as far as stealing things from family members and burying them safely in the ground. Remember, your dog is just following urges that stem from its ancestry. These same urges once kept canines from starving to death.
If your dog embarks on what seems like an excess amount of burying, keep in mind that dogs tend to bury extras, not essentials. You may very well reduce the amount of unnecessary burying by picking up extra bones, treats or toys that you find lying around the house or yard. Limiting the number of toys your dog has at any one given time can lessen his or her urge to protect an excess bounty.
No one likes deep holes in their yard. If your dog gets carried away with burying things, you may want to consider giving him or her a less destructive option than the backyard. Try giving your canine friend an old blanket that he or she can use to bury bones or toys.
Cover those unwanted holes with chicken wire or a cement block to deter Rover from digging and burying his treasure places where you don’t want holes.
While it may be difficult to break your dog of the habit of burying things, you very well may be able to modify its behavior so that the canine doesn’t damage areas you are trying to protect.