2001-Mon Jun 25 00:26:11 EDT 2018
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Just like circling and digging at bedding before lying down, hiding prized possessions may be an ingrained ritual that comes naturally to some dogs. Your dog's wild ancestors most likely buried food and other objects to keep predators from getting them, which may account for his desire to hide his toys in your sofa. While certain breeds with object-carrying and digging tendencies, like Dachshunds, may be more prone to this behavior, any dog can engage in these antics.
Your dog’s efforts to hide his toys may seem funny to you, especially if his hiding places are not all that hidden. My Pug, Bruce, had a habit of saving his favorite chews and hiding them in what he clearly thought were super secret locations — usually underneath the couch cushions or inside blankets or discarded sweatshirts. His diligent efforts to hide his treasures often seemed largely ineffective to my family: Despite frantic digging, scratching and pushing his valuables into the couch or bed, the end result was often that the item was just as visible as it was to begin with. But Bruce was undaunted and always seemed quite satisfied with his hard work — and quite confident no one would unearth his prize.
Some dogs will bury things that they are not interested in right now but might want later, while others hide prized possessions that they don't want to share or lose. Regardless of his motivation, one solution is to offer your dog a chew or toy that he will be excited about playing with right now — a stuffed Kong, for example, or a tug toy that you can use to instigate a game.
You can also try limiting the number of toys available to your dog at any one time. This may help get him excited about playing with the toy he currently has in his possession, rather than hiding it. Routinely rounding up discarded toys and putting them away in a box or basket can help keep them exciting for your dog.
Another option is to redirect your dog away from your furniture when he wants to bury a treasure. Create an indoor digging pit for your pooch — a dog bed filled with blankets and pillows or a covered cat bed both work well. A designated burying area allows your dog to go through his digging routine and hide his treasures without inconveniencing you or endangering your furniture.
Encourage your dog to bury things in his designated area by placing the object near the furniture he currently likes to use as a hiding place (the sofa, or your bed). Teaching your dog to go to his space can also be useful in directing him to his designated digging area. The cue “go to your space” can also be used to redirect your dog if he tries to bury a toy or chew somewhere off-limits. Reward your dog with praise and favorite treats when he hides his things in the right place.
More on Vetstreet:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.