Have you ever noticed that some dogs love to bury or hide every item they can get their mouths around? You take off your favorite pair of shoes, hang your jacket on a hanger, go back to retrieve your shoes, and viola! One of the shoes is missing. You search the entire house only to finally find your shoe hidden behind a door, under the bed, or sometimes in your bed under the covers.
Of course, this dog behavior isn’t limited to shoes, though they are a favorite of most dogs. Everything is up for grabs with our pups, including shirts, socks, undies, hand towels, and rolls of toilet paper.
According to Peteducation.com, our domestic dogs bury bones and other items much like how their wild ancestors often buried their food. In the wild, wolves or foxes sometimes kill an animal that’s too big to eat all at once, or they bury food to protect it from being found by another animal. This is called caching or hoarding. While domestic dogs don’t typically need to bury food like their wild counterparts, the instinct to bury treats and other items is still very strong in man’s best friend.
My Schnauzer girl Dusty is a big fan of taking something that doesn’t belong to her and carrying it around the house in search of the perfect spot to hide it. Since she’s still a puppy, I’ll eventually find the items with some teeth marks and wet slobber, where she has mouthed the item into submission.
She doesn’t feel the need to hide her toys and chew treats around the house. She usually just chews on them or plays with them until she loses interest. Then she leaves them on the floor in the exact spot where she had been playing. Unfortunately, this is usually right in the middle of the floor, where I’ll step on them if I’m not watching where I’m going. At least once per day, we make a game out of picking them all up and placing them back in her two baskets, which are strategically located in her designated play areas. If she drags them out again right before bedtime and I happen not to notice, it inevitably results in my stepping on the toys or chew treats with my bare feet in the middle of the night, if I happen to get up. Of course, that’s one sure way to be sure everyone is awakened in the middle of the night!
For some reason, there is one treat, an edible bone, that she does prefer to hide before eating. She will dig a spot in her doggie bed and hide it under the pillow. If I spot it in the bed and bring it to her attention, she’ll move it behind a cabinet or desk. This game will go on for hours before she decides that it’s been hidden long enough, and she’ll finally eat it.
I would say this is just a Schnauzer characteristic and blame it on the breed. However, none of my other Schnauzers demonstrated this trait. Also, none of my Pomeranians ever felt the need to hide or bury anything. Even my Collie/Shepherd mix, which spent all of his time outdoors, never chose to bury his bones or treats. I guess it really just comes down to a dog’s inherent nature to hide items from anyone who she thinks may want them. Or it might be just my little Schnauzer girl who likes to hide everything from sight — or at least the items that belong to me!
Does your dog like to hide or bury things? What’s the strangest thing your dog has hidden or buried?
Dogs do lots of other weird things. Check out these other posts on Dogster: