Why Do Some Dogs Hide Their Bones?

Yorkshire Terrier Vies For Title Of World's Smallest Dog

Writing for a dog site, I get a lot of random dog questions from friends and family. Hey, what does this mean, and what do I do about this, and where do I get this? As much as I like to pretend I know it all about dogs, no one does. Even the best of us just kind of learn as we go. But there is often reasoning behind some dogs strange and surreal ┬ábehavior, even if few of us know what it is. For example, why do some dogs hide their bones and other treats you give them? Why don’t they just enjoy it? Again, the reasoning behind this is simple enough that it makes sense, but profound enough that is shows us dogs are way smarter than most people give them credit for.

So why would you assume that a dog hides the bones it gets or finds? Pleasure delayer, perhaps? Trying to amass an army of bones big enough to build a throne, maybe? No, truth is, this goes back to their feral instincts. The truth is, when dogs were wild, a kill would often need to be stretched out. Dogs don’t often know when the next meal (in those days), so they would take part of the kill (the meat and or bones) and bury or hoard them away for times when they could not find food. Though it is not necessary for dogs to do it now, many modern breeds still have a penchant for this behavior. It is funny. You may move a couch and found fifteen bones. The irony being your dog was holding on to them for leaner times, but the good news is, you are a good owner and leaner times never came.

So don’t think your dog is strange or hates bones and treats if he or she hides them. It just means they still worry slightly that they may need it in the future. Old instincts can take ages to become fully submissive.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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