Why Do Dogs Bury Bones? Curious Behavior Facts On Your Furry Friend

Deepthi Reddy
Jan 31, 2023 By Deepthi Reddy
Originally Published on Oct 22, 2021
Fact-checked by Nishtha Dixit
The dog sits on the grass.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.3 Min

Dogs have an instinct to hide things in secure places, and at times they are even predisposed to bury objects that don't belong to them.

The reasons dogs do so can be a little more complicated than you think. They often have their own reasons to dig holes and attempt to protect the objects they adore.

The most wanted, the most loyal, and the most adorable family member you can have is a dog. The dog has several behavioral characteristics, making it the most family-friendly animal, but one behavior that has always been peculiar to observe is the burying of bones!

Why would the dog bury his favorite items? Let's find out more about why do dogs bury bones.

To read more about dogs, check out these articles and more on why do dogs bark at other dogs? And why do dogs chase their tails?

Why do dogs bury bones in the yard?

Amongst the many things a dog loves, burying bones, toys, shoes or other items, might be its favorite! You might have observed this behavior in your pet, too, perhaps, but what is the reason for this burying behavior?

Well, burying happens to be an inherited trait from their canine ancestors and cousins. Burying is quite characteristic of canine behaviors, you could say.

Dogs are protective in nature and tend to safeguard all items that seem valuable to them.

You've probably see your pet dog use his paws to create a hole to keep the bones you give him; this is a hereditary tactic followed by dogs to date.

In fact, dogs bred for hunting purposes have a peaked desire to bury all their resources due to their hunting instincts, and these hunting dogs are more inclined to bury toys and bones.

Burying is also an activity that's done out of pure boredom to get your attention, especially if you have been busy all week!

The dog wants you to pet it, and give it some love because it is equally sick of the monotony. The boredom gets them to react by burying chewable items like rawhide bones.

Dogs are all the more fond of burying their food in the backyard of your home as it's believed hiding a surplus of food provided to them in the ground is an ancient canine survival strategy.

This strategy outlines the fact that the cool ground preserves and protects the various treats and food they eat. This is a win-win for the dog and it allows them to savor not just their bone but other items like toys, cushions, or other food items.

Domestic dogs also do so because they can be quite possessive of their treasures and so they dig and bury it to prevent other pets from stealing them.

Remember to take care of your garden as constant digging and burying will affect the lawn and plants. Another important point to remember is about chemical fertilizers you spray in your garden.

Keep the chemical levels low or opt for organic fertilizers, as it could affect the health of your dog, who frequently digs holes in the ground of the garden.

Why do dogs bury bones under the ground?

Our way to preserve food is to put food items in a refrigerator; similarly, dogs use the ground as their refrigerator. It turns out, humans aren't the only clever animals to preserve food for a week! While we have the technology to keep our food fresh, a dog only has nature to resort to.

Burying the meal they gathered from a hunt in the ground is a dog's natural instinct to preserve the meat from sunlight and other predators. This is, however, really only the case of wild breeds.

It's not just food that a dog buries; they also dig to bury non-food items.

Dogs bury their food mostly when they are not hungry or if they feel they might need that bone later to eat. The ground is synonymous with a safety deposit box, a perfect place to hide, and retrieve!

Another fun fact is that a dog is highly attached to their owner and their belongings, so the chances are that your dog just doesn't feel like parting with the toy, treats, or meal that you gave it; they just love it too much!

Why do dogs bury bones in furniture?

Jack Russel Parson Dog Running Toward The Camera.

You'd be surprised with the list of places a dog keeps in his or her mind for digging; it even includes furniture. Their instinct and the places to bury only gets more creative! Get ready to find a bone or treats in the corner of your sofa.

Certain breeds like Dachshunds are more prone to burying their bones in furniture, usually underneath blankets or couch cushions, which is why you might also find your dog's head buried into the couch at times. The reason being their ancestral instinct is to protect other people or predators from catching hold of their bones and other valuable things.

Why do dogs bury bones in blankets?

Sometimes digging is not their only place to hide interesting items; blankets can also be a dog's go-to spot to hide bones and other things. Don't be too surprised to see your dog fiddling with your favorite blanket; it might be his favorite too!

The reason your dog might prefer to bury his bones in the blanket is not just his family instinct of burying but also because he or she might find more security in that blanket. The dog finds more comfort and safety within that blanket which is why it's assured that no other pets or yourself can procure its bones.

But don't you ever wonder about how do dogs find their way back to these buried items? Is there some training you need to give?

Well, your dog is very keen and crafty when it comes to remembering and being responsible about its things without any prior training. A dog's memory is of two types, namely spatial and associative. The former helps remember the location of digging, and the latter aids in recognizing the sight and smell of the area linked to burying.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do dogs bury bones? Curious behavior facts on your paw friend!

Then why not take a look at why do woodpeckers peck wood? And how to avoid woodpecker's pecking, or why do bats sleep upside down? Learn amazing facts about bats.

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Written by Deepthi Reddy

Master of Business Administration

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Deepthi ReddyMaster of Business Administration

With an MBA under her belt, Deepthi has discovered her true calling in content writing. Her writing repertoire is diverse, covering travel, movies, pet care, parenting, animals and birds, and more. Her joy of learning and creating has helped her craft well-written and engaging articles. When she isn't writing, Deepthi enjoys exploring new cultures, trying different foods, and spending quality time with her two children aged 7 and 12.

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Fact-checked by Nishtha Dixit

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Nishtha Dixit picture

Nishtha DixitBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Nishtha is an experienced SEO writer and editor, with a passion for writing and self-expression. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate major in Literature and Communication and a minor in Political Science from the University of Delhi. Nishtha has completed a certificate master course in English from the British Council and has been appointed as the editor for the bi-monthly magazine of the University of Delhi.

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