Why Do Dogs Bury Bones? How Can I Stop It?


Last Updated: May 25, 2022 | 2 min read | 5 Comments

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Dog Digging (Caption: Why Do Dogs Bury Bones?)

You may find your dog burying a toy or bone, then digging it up and reburying it elsewhere. This is very common. In fact, your dog may even “bury” items inside on furniture, under rugs, or in their bed. Sometimes they’ll even bury things in piles of laundry. Are you wondering why do dogs hide bones? Find out the reasons and how to get them to stop.

Dogs Bury Bones As A Form Of Survival

Why do dogs bury their bones? Because a dog’s natural instinct is to keep his things protected and in a safe place. Dogs used to bury items as a form of survival. They would roam in packs and hunt for their food. When they caught something, they didn’t want to risk losing it. So they buried it. Later, they would come back to it to eat.

Burying their food would help with many things. Other creatures couldn’t find it. The food was kept fresher longer since it was underground and cooler. And it was “marinated” with a decadent, earthy flavor.

Why Do Domestic Dogs Bury Things?

Most dogs don’t have to hunt for food today as domesticated pets. So why do dogs hide food still? Well, first of all, it’s their natural instinct. Dogs have the urge to ensure they’ll have food later. So they bury their food sometimes to make sure their needs are met.

Another reason is that they’re full and want to save it for later. Spoiling your dog with too much food, toys or treats can result in them hiding it. They may not want to risk having it taken away.

Dogs also bury items as a game. They may be looking for you to play with them. They may event burry things that are seen as valuable to you (like keys, the remote, or shoes). If this happens, your dog may be bored or lonely and seek attention.

Do Dogs Remember Where They Bury Their Bones?

What’s the point of burying it if you can’t find it afterward? Luckily, dogs have a strong sense of smell which helps them sniff out their bones or food later. They also use spacial and associative memory to recall the “good” places where they can find their goods.

What Breed Of Dog Hides Things?

Some dogs are prone to digging more than others. Hunting dogs like Beagles and Hounds are scent-driven and avid hoarders. Terriers, Huskies, and Shepherds are also known for their burying behaviors. While the breed is a factor, all dogs are infamous for their clever hiding skills, and the reasons above, like attention or appetite, can play a factor too.

Video: Travelers Insurance Commercial Dog with Bone

You might remember this adorable commercial featuring a dog hiding his bone.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Burying Items?

You can help stop your dog from burying stuff by rotating their toys, playing with them, taking them on walks or to the dog park, and giving them the attention they need. Never scold your pup after the fact. He will not understand what he is being punished for. If the problem continues, you should consult your vet or enlist the help of a professional. We recommend Doggy Dan’s online course, which you can do from the comfort of your home. And you can learn more about why your dog does other silly things like chase their tail or dig holes.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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