Why Does My Dog... Bury Bones and Other Objects?

Dog Digging

Many dogs, including Airedales, Golden Retrievers, Manchester Terriers and Miniature Schnauzers, like to hide things in safe places. But your pooch doesn't need a bank safe-deposit box to protect his prized possessions. All he needs is some soft dirt or a pile of laundry. And your dog won't confine himself to burying his things — he'll take yours too. One minute your watch is on the nightstand, and the next it has disappeared. Missing the TV remote? Check that fresh dirt mound in your backyard. That lump under the sofa cushion? Your dog’s toy or your toddler’s doll.

What Your Dog Wants

Your dog is following an ancestral urge. Thousands of years ago, roaming dogs did not know where their next meal would come from, so after a better-than-expected hunt, they buried surplus food to hide it from scavengers. When these dogs became hungry, they returned to the secret location and dug up their leftovers. Dirt also served as Mother Nature’s refrigerator, keeping buried bones fresher longer by protecting them from sunlight. This natural “aging” made the bone tastier too.

Have you been too generous with treats and toys? Your dog may simply be storing extras in a safe place to retrieve later and possibly share with his canine visitors.

Some dogs cannot resist bling and are attracted to shiny objects, such as watches and earrings. They grab these items off counters and dash to a certain burying place, perhaps under the cushion in a dog bed or in the laundry basket. Dogs often engage in this type of grab-and-hide behavior when they are lonely, bored or seeking attention. They are not being mean or malicious — they hope their actions will garner playtime with you.

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