Have you ever gone outside to discover a scene that looks like it is straight out of a comic with crater holes everywhere? Well then you may have a dog that is a digger and this is most likely the result of them burying their bones and other treats. In this article we are going to answer the age old question “why do dogs bury bones” and help you deal with any particularly pesky buriers you may have.
To truly understand why dogs bury we must first take a look at their wild ancestors for cues. Obviously, they weren’t hiding tv remotes in couch cushions but the behaviors can still help us understand.
Why Do Dogs Bury Bones
The universal idea as to why dogs do in fact have this instinct to bury is due to their ancestors who were originally wild dogs and wolves. These animals would hunt their food and eat as much as they could for the sole reason that they do not know when their next meal might be. Once they eat as much as they can they would then take the leftover scraps and bury them. Though there is some debate on the official reasoning experts believe they would do this to preserve their food keeping it safe and protected from other predators or the natural elements which allows it to be fresher longer in the cool dirt.
Now we know where the burying comes from but how does this then translate to domestic dogs burying items. This habit is just a part of a dog’s natural instinct nowadays and is a large part of where this behavior stems is from the feeling of security it brings. The main difference is that instead of burying food your dog may be burying toys or treats all over the back yard or in the house.
Often times this is seen more in dogs who come from hunting breeds and the top culprit is the dachshund due to their nature to hunt badgers in their holes. Another factor that has an increased burying rate is if multiple dogs live in one household. Oftentimes these dogs will hide treats and their favorite toys around the house and yard so the other dogs can’t steal them.
How To Stop A Dog From Burying
There are multiple things you can do to stop your dog from burying their items all over and this will be a matter of finding what works best for your pooch.
The first option is to actually reduce the amounts of treats and toys your dog actually has access to throughout the day. Sometimes when we give our dogs treats they are still full from a meal and may end up hiding a treat for later. If this is the case it can be a simple fix and you may need to just slow down on some of the things your dogs get.
Another option is to try and train them out of digging which takes some diligence to do effectively. Once you see your puppy running of to bury whatever they may have, try to take the time to not only stop them but to reinforce what you’d rather them do by playing with the toy they might be burying or having them eat the treat.
One of the options that won’t always work for certain situations is to give your dog space where they can dig risk-free such as a sandbox or dirt pile. This takes space and does not necessarily remove the behavior which could lead to further digging in other areas as well. If you do try this option make sure to cover the digging spot once your dog is done to avoid any public litter box problems it could attract.
The last option is to try CBD oil for dogs as a daily supplement for your pooch. Sometimes dogs dig due to separation anxiety while you are away. This will involve digging during a time you are unable to stop them. CBD addresses their anxiety directly through the endocannabinoid system which is capable of calming and reducing the anxiety in your dog.
If none of these options work out a good place to get help would be your veterinarian as they will know what to do or even who to contact to help your furry friend.
Dogs burying things is a part of their instincts but this does not mean you must live with holes all over your garden. I hope this article helped you understand the age-old question of why do dogs bury bones.