Why Do Dogs Bury Bones in Blankets?

Why Do Dogs Bury Bones in Blankets?

As dog owners, we’ve all witnessed that adorable, yet intriguing behavior where our dogs take their bones or toys and bury them deep in the folds of a blanket, a pile of laundry, or even in the sofa cushions. But why are our canine companions so determined to hide their treasures in such a peculiar way? The answer to this intriguing question is rooted in their genetics, their environment, and their inherent animal instincts.

Table of Contents

  1. The instinctual behavior of dogs
  2. The influence of environment
  3. Ensuring their survival
  4. The role of anxiety and stress
  5. How to manage this behavior
  6. Frequently Asked Questions

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs bury bones in blankets due to their inherent instincts that have been passed down from their wild ancestors.
  • This behavior is also influenced by their environment and the resources available to them.
  • Burying bones can be a sign of a dog ensuring its survival, especially in situations where food or toys are scarce.
  • Anxiety and stress can also trigger this behavior in dogs.
  • There are ways to manage this behavior if it becomes problematic or destructive.

The instinctual behavior of dogs

Dogs, like their wolf ancestors, are natural hoarders. They’re biologically programmed to save food and other valuable resources for later use, particularly in times when these items are scarce. This instinctual behavior is most evident in the way dogs bury their bones in blankets or other hiding places. This behavior is not only limited to bones but can also extend to toys, treats, and even items of clothing. You can learn more about these behavioral traits here.

The influence of environment

Just as their wild ancestors would bury surplus food in the ground to hide it from other predators, our domesticated dogs use their environment to do the same. In a dog-friendly home where outdoor digging is discouraged or impossible, blankets, cushions, and furniture become the equivalent of the soft earth. Therefore, it’s not unusual to find your dog’s ‘buried treasure’ in these locations. You can read more about this fascinating aspect of dog behavior at One Top Dog.

Ensuring their survival

When a dog buries a bone, it’s not just hiding it for later—it’s actively planning for its future. Dogs, like many animals, have a survival instinct that drives them to secure resources for lean times. In this regard, your pet is not much different from its wild cousins who bury their kills to ensure they have a food source in times of scarcity.

The role of anxiety and stress

Sometimes, the act of burying bones in blankets can be a sign of anxiety or stress. Dogs, like humans, have their own unique ways of coping with stress, and for some, this involves the repetitive and soothing action of burying their bones. However, if you see this behavior becoming obsessive or destructive, it might be a sign of a deeper issue that requires attention. Check out this article on One Top Dog for more information on how to identify and manage anxiety in your dog.

How to manage this behavior

While this behavior is usually harmless and even endearing, there are times when it can become problematic. Here are a few strategies to manage your dog’s bone-burying behavior:

  1. Provide designated toys and blankets: Give your dog specific toys and blankets they can use for their burying behavior. This can help prevent them from digging into furniture or other items.

  2. Provide plenty of physical and mental stimulation: Boredom can often lead to excessive bone-burying. By providing plenty of opportunities for play and exercise, you can divert your dog’s attention away from this behavior.

  3. Consult with a professional: If the burying behavior becomes obsessive or destructive, consult with a professional trainer or a vet. They can provide guidance on how to manage this behavior effectively.

You can find more detailed strategies here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Why does my dog bury his bone in my bed?
A: Your bed carries your scent, which is comforting to your dog. By burying its bone in your bed, your dog is trying to keep it safe in a place that feels secure and familiar.

Q2: Is it harmful for dogs to bury bones in blankets?
A: Usually, it’s not harmful. However, if the behavior becomes excessive or your dog starts to destroy household items, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional.

Q3: How can I stop my dog from burying bones in blankets?
A: Providing designated toys and blankets for your dog to use can help. Also, providing plenty of physical and mental stimulation can divert your dog’s attention away from this behavior. If it continues, consider seeking professional advice.

Unraveling the mystery of why dogs bury bones in blankets uncovers a fascinating glimpse into their instincts and behaviors. As we understand these behaviors better, we can provide an environment that respects their instincts while maintaining a harmonious home. So, the next time you find a bone buried in your blanket, remember, it’s just your dog being a dog.