Dear Labby, Why Does my Dog Bury Things?
Your dog is just following his instinct. When dogs were first becoming domesticated, they were fed scraps from the humans. They didn’t necessarily get two nicely prepared meals each day, they got what was left over and they didn’t always know when that would be, so they took to storing surplus food. The dirt would hide it from predators and also help keep it fresh.
Our dog Tino used to bury everything too. When we first rescued him and his brother Bernie, we gave them some pig’s ears as treats. They didn’t even eat them – they buried them. After awhile, when they realized they were going to get fed regularly, they stopped burying them and ate them, but Tino continued to bury his toys for years. I’m sure there’s still buried toys out in our backyard from him.
Our favorite Tino story about burying things was one day Steve lost his wallet. He had it earlier in the day and then that night, it was just gone. He called and cancelled all his credit cards and resigned himself to the hassle that went along with losing your wallet…then he noticed dirt on Tino’s nose…a sure sign he’d been digging because he always used his nose to help cover his treasure.
Sure enough, he went out in the front yard and there in the flower bed was some freshly mounded dirt…and his wallet.
There’s not much you can do to get them to stop other then limit what they have access to. They usually only bury “surplus”, so don’t give them multiple treats or bones, don’t give them a basket full of toys, only give them one. And as for your things – the best plan is to just keep them out of reach. Keep the closest door closed, the remote out of reach and the coffee table clear of keys and wallets!
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