Since your dog arrived, you have said goodbye to your beautiful flower beds, now ruined by the enthusiastic scratching of a dog that buries everything. No garden? Your dog always finds a solution and buries his favourite objects and bones under blankets. But why?
Let’s explore our pooch’s mind for a moment to try to understand his motivations and talents as an archaeologist or pirate….
To understand why dogs bury food, we need to dive into their past. Our domestic dogs are used to being served everything on a silver platter, but that has not always been the case! Wild dogs and wolves had to hunt before they could eat. And since you don’t eat a dismembered deer all at once, the best way to stop other animals from taking it is still to hide it. And what better place to hide your loot than a hole in the ground that will protect your game from the heat and the sun?
Like squirrels, dogs like to horde their food to eat later when they are hungry. Fortunately, your four-legged friend will probably never suffer from hunger, but as a result you may find treats buried all over the place… Dogs also like to gather all their toys in their basket. This allows them to protect what is dear to them and ensure that nothing can happen to it.
The instinct to bury things is so strong that even if there is no opportunity to dig the ground, they continue to push the earth with their nose or throw a blanket over the objects.
How do dogs find their bone again?
A dog’s sense of smell is much more highly developed than that of humans. Their nose works 60 times better than ours! They also breathe faster and experience scents differently from us. To find out where the smell tickling their nostrils is coming from, they use their “stereo sense of smell”. Just as we hear in «stereo» thanks to our ears and can determine where the sound is coming from, dogs locate the smell with both their nostrils. And hunger sharpens those senses even more! If your dog has not buried his bone very deeply, the smell will allow him to find it again.
Can I prevent my dog from digging?
Some breeds of dog will dig more than others. If you have a hunting dog with a highly developed instinct, your garden will probably be more riddled than if you have a German shepherd. The name terrier, meaning “burrow” in French, speaks for itself, and these little dogs love burrowing into the ground. You will never get rid of a deeply rooted instinct completely, and nor is that desirable. This ancestral legacy is very rewarding for your dog who loves to follow these natural instincts. Punishing him for having buried things is not a good idea because he doesn’t understand what he has done wrong when he was just following his intuition.
However, you can encourage your dog to dig as little as possibly by following our few tips:
● Don’t give your dog any bones or treats straight after his meal. He will be tempted to bury them for later consumption. In addition, excess treats lead to excess weight.
● Limit the number of toys. Give him one or two toys at a time so as not to encourage the need to collect. You can change toys every week.
● Reserve a special place for your dog to dig in your garden and make him understand that this place belongs to him.
● Turn this learning process into a game. Train your dog to “dig” a blanket before asking him to retrieve the “buried” toy.
«dig». Then ask him to retrieve the buried toy again.
● Sometimes dogs steal and bury things they know are valuable to their owner. Your dog feels left out and tries to get your attention, so don’t hesitate to give him a little time.
Does your dog regularly bury his things or yours? How have you remedied this?
What are the greatest moments for you of your beloved dog’s life? Tell us all about it in the comments!