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Question
Posted by: Daantjie | 2012-07-11

Dog tries to bury food on floor

Why does my Dutch hound bury his food with imaginary dirt? There is no soil or dirt on the floor in the house, but he goes through the actions until he is satisfied that the food is " buried" .

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi there, nice to hear from you! To understand why they do this, we need to remember that our dogs originated from the wolf and in the wild food was not always available. In fact, they could go days if not weeks before the next feed and so they would hoard some tasty morsels. In your own case the actual digging is not taking place but the memory of it is instinctual.

Other reasons why a dog may engage in this behaviour is when a regular feeding regime is not in place. This may indicate to the dog that on some days there is an abundance of food and other days the food is not always forthcoming at the expected time, so instinct comes in and the dog buries some of the food in order to have for later.

If you have more than one dog, and one is particularity timid or is intimidated by other dogs at feeding time, the instinct to hide food comes to the fore again.

Hunting dogs, such as your own hound breed are more likely to engage in this habit due to instinct.

If this situation bothers you, make sure that your are supplying the correct amount of food on a regular basis to start with. Ensure that your dog has enough mental and physical stimulation and if it is breed related and your dog is more likely to engage in this behaviour, why not build him a digging pit? This will allow him to carry out his natural instinct which could progress until he is digging holes outside. This will ensure that the bones etc are buried always in one place and your garden does not become full of unsightly holes. I have put a link below on how to achieve this.
http://www.friendsofthedog.co.za/digging-problems.html

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Jacobus | 2012-07-13

Our worshond is sometimes very irritating because he barks for the slightest noise he hears, day and night. He sleeps alone in the kitchen at night and then he does not bark at all. The other night somebody tried to break into the house from outside the kitchen door and even the he did not bark. Why is this?

Reply to Jacobus
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2012-07-12

Hi there, nice to hear from you! To understand why they do this, we need to remember that our dogs originated from the wolf and in the wild food was not always available. In fact, they could go days if not weeks before the next feed and so they would hoard some tasty morsels. In your own case the actual digging is not taking place but the memory of it is instinctual.

Other reasons why a dog may engage in this behaviour is when a regular feeding regime is not in place. This may indicate to the dog that on some days there is an abundance of food and other days the food is not always forthcoming at the expected time, so instinct comes in and the dog buries some of the food in order to have for later.

If you have more than one dog, and one is particularity timid or is intimidated by other dogs at feeding time, the instinct to hide food comes to the fore again.

Hunting dogs, such as your own hound breed are more likely to engage in this habit due to instinct.

If this situation bothers you, make sure that your are supplying the correct amount of food on a regular basis to start with. Ensure that your dog has enough mental and physical stimulation and if it is breed related and your dog is more likely to engage in this behaviour, why not build him a digging pit? This will allow him to carry out his natural instinct which could progress until he is digging holes outside. This will ensure that the bones etc are buried always in one place and your garden does not become full of unsightly holes. I have put a link below on how to achieve this.
http://www.friendsofthedog.co.za/digging-problems.html

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