Many dog owners have experienced the mysterious disappearance of their pet's toys or treats. While it may seem like a quirky behaviour, hiding items is actually a natural instinct for dogs that has its roots in their ancestry as pack animals. In this blog post, we'll explore why dogs hide treats and toys and what it means for pet owners.
Instinctual Behaviour Dogs are descendants of wolves, which lived in packs and had to constantly compete for resources. In the wild, wolves would hide food to save it for later, so it wouldn't be taken by other pack members. This behaviour has been passed down to domestic dogs, who still have a strong instinct to hoard and hide items, including treats and toys.
Feeling Secure Hiding treats and toys can also be a way for dogs to feel secure and protected. By hiding items, they can create their own personal stash that they feel is safe from other dogs or humans. This behaviour can also be a way for dogs to mark their territory and assert their dominance within the household.
Boredom and Mental Stimulation Hiding treats and toys can also be a way for dogs to provide themselves with mental stimulation. Many dogs will spend hours hiding and retrieving their toys, which can be a fun and engaging activity for them. This behaviour can also be a way for dogs to relieve boredom and stave off destructive behaviour, such as chewing on furniture or shoes.
Encouraging Hiding Behaviour Some pet owners may choose to encourage their dog's hiding behaviour by playing hide and seek with treats or toys. This can be a fun and interactive way for dogs to engage with their owners and provide them with mental stimulation. It's important to supervise dogs during these activities and ensure they are safe and not ingesting any harmful items.
Conclusion Dogs hiding treats and toys is a natural instinctual behaviour rooted in their ancestry as pack animals. By hiding items, dogs can feel secure and protected, provide themselves with mental stimulation, and assert their dominance. Pet owners can encourage this behaviour by playing hide and seek with treats and toys, as long as they supervise their pet and ensure their safety.