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Trying to "bury" treats in a pillow??

November 23rd, 2004, 06:28 PM
OK, I don't know if this qualifies as obsessive behaviour, or if I should be worried about it. I've told you that Phoebe is particular about her treats, and will "complain" to the treat when I give her one she doesn't want. She then tries to hide it soemwhere in the house - I'll usually find it hidden in the sofa's pillow cushions or amongst the kids toys. Once in a while, though, I'll catch her trying to "bury" it in her doggie bed. She'll put the offending treat in the middle of the bed, and then walk in circles around the bed, pushing at the fabric with her nose like she's trying to bury the treat. Of course, nothing is happening, the treat doesn't get buried, so she'll just go round and round, pushing at this pillow. She'll do this until I tell her to stop. Is this obsessive behaviour, or is she just trying very hard to bury that darned treat?? Should I be worried? If it is a form of OCD, what can I do to help her get over it?? :confused:

November 23rd, 2004, 06:46 PM
Don't worry...I wouldn't call that obsessive. I remember my parents giving Daisy a bone, and she dropped it on a pile of coats. My parents were, "What is your dog doing?" I told them, laughing, "Just watch". Suddenly, she grabbed another coat, and lifted it over the bone. Then grabbed ANOTHER coat (just for the record, they were renovating the mud room, they don't make a habit of piling coats on the floor), and put that over the bone. Then she walked away, came back, stared at the coats, lifted them all off, checked the bone, and put them back. She did this a couple of times. It's what they do. I have to keep my sports bags (hockey, mountain bike, roller blade) closed, because otherwise I find "treats" in them. That went over real well at the rink. I just explained it helped keep my coat shiny. My dad's husky used to just leave the bone in plain site, but behind the table or plant. That was her way of "burying" it.

November 23rd, 2004, 07:36 PM
Yeah, the "burying" things in the sofa etc. I can understand (I find it really cute, too - love your coat story!). I'm worried about the way she's doing it, though. Trying to cover it up by pushing the imaginary earth over her treat (I can only presume that's what she's doing), and when it doesn't get covered up, she keeps at it and at it until I call her off. Honest, she'll walk circles around that bed, nudging it with her nose - if I let her, she'll just keep going... Is it just that it's really important to her that the danged thing get buried? Or will it develop into some sort of OCD if I let her continue?

Related question - are there some breeds that are more apt to bury their stuff than others? I've never had a digger before.

November 23rd, 2004, 09:45 PM
I honestly can't say for sure if it is a serious issue or not. That being said, I have seen dogs that do the "imaginary bury" before.

And I think some dogs are more apt to bury than others. I know that my parents had never seen that before, and they've both been around plenty of dogs. One summer, Daisy had worn her nose raw to the point of having a white spot on it. I watched her one day, and she would drop her bone in the whole, and then use her nose to cover it with dirt.

November 23rd, 2004, 11:05 PM
Bugsy does this (little squirrel)... he hides everything all over the house. I used to find things in the oddest places (jammed between sofa cushions etc..). Since Peaches came to live with us I no longer have this problem (little vacuum) :D

November 24th, 2004, 10:54 AM
Duke burys his bones. If he has had his fill he tries to bury it. Sometimes he will wander around whining a bit, looking for a suitable hiding spot. I think its just doggie behavior. He wants it for later and in the meantime doesn't want anyone else to have it.

November 24th, 2004, 12:49 PM
Writing4fun, my dog is exactly like that. I know that he gets it from his mom, she was like that. Too funny to watch.

November 24th, 2004, 01:04 PM
I don't think you have to worry. If its raining out we have a towel by the door and capone puts his bone down and throws the towel over. He does this in his cage to. Buries it and then recovers it, buries, recovers. Over and over again. You should put an old blanket in there for her so she can cover it. That will probably solve your problem. Give her something she can actually use to cover it. Problem solved. Try that.

November 24th, 2004, 01:24 PM
Either that, or move it when she isn't looking. That always REALLY messes with them!

November 24th, 2004, 08:21 PM
Thanks guys. I'll try the towel. She does have blankets in her crate - funny, she never tries to bury a treat in her crate. I haven't found the latest hiding place for the last treat I gave her, though. Maybe she's finally out-smarted me (not that it would take much).

November 30th, 2004, 05:07 PM
Hey guys, what your dog is doing is 100% NORMAL!!! It is not a form of OCD, in fact if you look through all canine's and their cousins you will see that burying food is deeply ingrained into them. They are making a cache ( the burried bone is the cache). Just be grateful that you don't have a coyote, they tend to mark their cache sites!!! So what your dog is doing is just part of being a dog. When your dog is pushing at the blanket and it is not covering the bone, sometimes this is all they do. But you can now see where this stems from. Hope that this calms your worries...and oh yeah, not all dogs do this, only one of mine does. :)

November 30th, 2004, 08:34 PM
Just be grateful that you don't have a coyote, they tend to mark their cache sites!!!
Funny you should say that. I have several family members who have been trying to convince me that Phoebe is part coyote ever since we first brought her home. :rolleyes: No, she doesn't mark her "cache". :p By the way, she has no idea what to do with the towel. She's great at her obedience training, but not so good at figuring stuff out for herself. I guess my little girl is what you'd call "book smart", not "street smart". :D