Your sweet and quirky companion may leave you perplexed when, after being presented with a carefully selected toy, he trots off and buries it in your backyard. This behavior is rooted in your dog's ancestry, from a time when burying food was a necessity for survival. Digging and burying behaviors are also part of a natural hoarding instinct.
Hiding, Preserving and Hoarding
Your dog's ancestors had to bury the food they acquired in a hunt to hide it from other dogs. Sometimes a hunt would be so successful that a dog would have too much food to chow down on in one sitting, so burying the food for a later time was a way to preserve it. If the dog became hungry again, she could simply go back to her "pantry." Burying the food also kept it out of the sun, which helped to keep it fresher longer. Though your dog doesn't have to hunt for her own food and her toys are presented to her just for being her cute self, these hoarding habits may still be alive and well in her.
Pamela Miller has been writing for health, beauty and animal health/welfare publications for seven years. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from MTSU.