Have you ever gone outside to discover a scene that looks like it is straight out of a comic with crater holes everywhere? Well then you may have a dog that is a digger and this is most likely the result of them burying their bones and other treats. In this article we are going to answer the age old question “why do dogs bury bones” and help you deal with any particularly pesky buriers you may have.
To truly understand why dogs bury we must first take a look at their wild ancestors for cues. Obviously, they weren’t hiding tv remotes in couch cushions but the behaviors can still help us understand.
The universal idea as to why dogs do in fact have this instinct to bury is due to their ancestors who were originally wild dogs and wolves. These animals would hunt their food and eat as much as they could for the sole reason that they do not know when their next meal might be. Once they eat as much as they can they would then take the leftover scraps and bury them. Though there is some debate on the official reasoning experts believe they would do this to preserve their food keeping it safe and protected from other predators or the natural elements which allows it to be fresher longer in the cool dirt.
Now we know where the burying comes from but how does this then translate to domestic dogs burying items. This habit is just a part of a dog’s natural instinct nowadays and is a large part of where this behavior stems is from the feeling of security it brings. The main difference is that instead of burying food your dog may be burying toys or treats all over the back yard or in the house.
Often times this is seen more in dogs who come from hunting breeds and the top culprit is the dachshund due to their nature to hunt badgers in their holes. Another factor that has an increased burying rate is if multiple dogs live in one household. Oftentimes these dogs will hide treats and their favorite toys around the house and yard so the other dogs can’t steal them.
How To Stop A Dog From Burying
There are multiple things you can do to stop your dog from burying their items all over and this will be a matter of finding what works best for your pooch.
The first option is to actually reduce the amounts of treats and toys your dog actually has access to throughout the day. Sometimes when we give our dogs treats they are still full from a meal and may end up hiding a treat for later. If this is the case it can be a simple fix and you may need to just slow down on some of the things your dogs get.
Another option is to try and train them out of digging which takes some diligence to do effectively. Once you see your puppy running of to bury whatever they may have, try to take the time to not only stop them but to reinforce what you’d rather them do by playing with the toy they might be burying or having them eat the treat.
One of the options that won’t always work for certain situations is to give your dog space where they can dig risk-free such as a sandbox or dirt pile. This takes space and does not necessarily remove the behavior which could lead to further digging in other areas as well. If you do try this option make sure to cover the digging spot once your dog is done to avoid any public litter box problems it could attract.
The last option is to try CBD oil for dogs as a daily supplement for your pooch. Sometimes dogs dig due to separation anxiety while you are away. This will involve digging during a time you are unable to stop them. CBD addresses their anxiety directly through the endocannabinoid system which is capable of calming and reducing the anxiety in your dog.
If none of these options work out a good place to get help would be your veterinarian as they will know what to do or even who to contact to help your furry friend.
Dogs burying things is a part of their instincts but this does not mean you must live with holes all over your garden. I hope this article helped you understand the age-old question of why do dogs bury bones.
Keeping your dog in shape is an important part of dog wellness, but it’s also crucial to provide mental stimulation and enrichment for your dog.
Dogs are meant to live active lives, rather than sleep until their owners come home. Many studies, especially those conducted by zoos, have shown that enriching an animal’s environment improves the psychological and physical well-being of animals.
The co-authors of Beyond Squeaky Toys break down enrichment for animals into six different categories. Read on for simple, practical ways to provide enrichment for your dog each day. Note that all dogs are individuals, so not all of these activities will appeal equally to all dogs. Smaller dogs, for instance, might do better with a pop-up tunnel indoors; some dogs love bubbles while others are indifferent, and some dogs are not food-motivated. The key is to experiment and find what works for you.
6 Types of Enrichment for Dogs
Provides opportunities for a pet to spend time with other animals and people in new, different environments. Examples include:
- Trips to the beach. My three dogs enjoy a romp on the beach perhaps more than any other activity.
- Going shopping. We work on leash reactivity at Home Depot, as it’s a great environment that’s safe and pet-friendly.
- Going to the office. My husband takes our dog Sherman to work on Thursdays.
Provides opportunities for thinking and problem-solving. Examples include:
- Puzzle toys. These are super-popular in my house and there are many types to choose from. Fantastic for dogs that are constantly busy and need a job between meals.
- K9 Nosework. Another sport we’re big fans of. All dogs can excel at this odor game.
- Hide and seek. Ask your dog to stay, and then run and hide from your pet before calling them. This also builds a strong recall! Treat generously when your dog finds you.
Enhances the animal’s living space by changing or adding complexity to the environment.
- Provide a bury/dig pit. This is simple. Buy a dog or kiddie pool and fill it up with sand. You can even hide toys for your dogs to dig up.
- Blanket forts and tents. Children enjoy this as well!
- Pop-up tunnel. Similar to what’s used in agility, these can be purchased online, and our doxies love tearing through them in the backyard.
Enrichment that stimulates any of the five senses. Nosework is another good example.
- Bubbles, bubbles, and bubbles! You can even buy bacon-flavored bubbles for dogs. No joke.
- Herbs and spices. Mint and cinnamon are not toxic and can be added to pet toys to encourage sniffing.
- Farm animal scents. I gave a friend with goats an old tee shirt and she hung it in the barn for few days. I then brought it home and tied it to a tug toy.
- Wind chimes can be fun toys that offer new sounds to cats and dogs.
Make mealtime more challenging and interesting. This includes how food is presented.
- Treats under a blanket. Simple—just hide them out of sight!
- A puzzle feeder can slow down gulpers and stimulate the mind.
- Ice treats. Try freezing small toys in giant ice cubes and see how long before they can get access to them! Pro tip: do this on a surface you can clean easily.
- Muffin tin ball feeder. Cheapest nose work game you’ll find. Literally, put tennis balls in the muffin tin and hide food under some of the balls.
- Hand feeding is a great way to bond with your dog, especially when you first meet.
Objects that can be manipulated in some way—explored via feet, tail, and mouths! (Always take age into consideration).
- Remote and wind-up toys. Allow your dog to watch the toy, but don’t put let them put it in their mouth!
- Lure and fishing pole toy. Attach a long line of yarn to a fishing pole and while supervised, let your dog tug until they get bored.
- Stuff old clothing with anything smelly, like grass clippings.
The bottom line
Enrichment does more than just alleviate boredom. Shelters have discovered that enrichment can make dogs more adoptable. It can also help your dog live a longer, happier life, and improve your bond. In other words, it’s a no-brainer!
Enrichment doesn’t take a lot of time or money. Many of these tips are low maintenance and take just a few minutes, but will go a long way with your dogs. Try a few, see which sticks, and then weave it into your dog’s routine.
Although temperatures in South Africa are usually fairly pleasant year round, in winter month lows can still dip down to almost freezing. This can provide a dangerous environment for some dogs depending upon certain conditions and where they live.
For example, if you live in a neighbourhood where antifreeze is used, the key ingredient, ethylene glycol can be toxic, and in some cases even deadly, for dogs and other animals if ingested. What’s even worse, the smell and taste of this dangerous chemical is actually quite pleasant so dogs are actually likely to consume it if they happen to run across a small puddle of the substance.
#1 – After you walk your pet, be sure to wash and dry their feet to remove ice, salt and other chemicals (like mentioned above) that they could have picked up during your stroll. Check their paws for cracks or redness that could need attention.
#2 – Putting petroleum jelly or other types of protectant on their paws before an outing will also help prevent contact with chemicals. Some pet parents have even trained their canines to use booties for further protection.
#3 – Pets usually burn more energy during colder months when they’re likely to be more active to stay warm. Unless they’re on a special diet, perhaps a little overweight or have other dietary restrictions, consider given them a little more food during this time.
#4 – If it’s too cold for you outside, the same is likely true for your pet. Even though they have a fur coat, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be all right outside, especially overnight. Keep an eye on local weather reports if you have an outdoor animal and if significantly cold temperatures are expected, your dog would be better off indoors.
#5 – Again for outdoor dogs, even those both indoor and outdoor, be sure to check their water dish regularly to ensure it’s free of debris that can come from cold, windy, winter weather and make sure it’s not partially or completely frozen.
#6 – Keep trimming and similar hair removal techniques down to a minimum but don’t stop brushing them. Dogs with shorter hair that don’t need regular cutting, those with bare bellies and little fur may be more comfortable in a sweater or coat. For some mutts, this type of winter wear is a regular occurrence.
#7 – For those indoor/outdoor dogs, coming in and out of the moist, cold outdoors and coming inside to a drier, warmer environment can cause dry, itchy, flaky skin. Keep your house humidified and always dry your dog when wet if they come indoors. Both of these practices will help your pooch be more comfortable overall.
#8 – Bathe your pets less often during these colder times since this can remove essential oils from their skin that helps to keep them warm. As mentioned previously, winter is a time of year when skin can become drier than usual. When you do wash your animal, consider using a special moisturizing type of pet shampoo that can help with this problem.
Although rare and unpredictable, snow does fall in some parts of South Africa, especially in mountainous areas. Whether you live in a region where you see the white stuff regularly or rarely, you can still safely enjoy winter with your best friend.
You wouldn’t feed your child fast food three meals a day, seven days a week. Your dog shouldn’t be any different. Paying close attention to what type of food you are feeding can contribute to a quality, happy life for your pooch. Use the following guidelines when selecting your dog’s dinner:
- Make sure to select a food that is appropriate for your pet’s size and lifestage. A diet designed for an adult Yorkie is not likely to be adequate for a Great Dane puppy.
- Look for quality ingredients. A good food will have a recognizable protein source as its first ingredient. Some people prefer not to feed animal by-products. Be sure to read the ingredient list thoroughly. If you choose to avoid synthetic preservatives for your pet, be aware that these preparations may spoil more quickly and feed accordingly.
- Check to be sure that the manufacturer’s contact information is readily available.
Every dog owner will tell you that you can never have too many photos of your dog. But, they’ll also tell you that taking photos of a dog can be a little bit tricky at first. So, if you’re interested in moving on from blurry close ups of your dog seconds away from licking the camera towards beautiful frame-worthy shots of your beloved pooch, then these five tips will prove to be a lifesaver!
Get Down on your knees
When photographing your dog it’s important to get down on his level. This will change the camera angle and bring out more realistic, detailed shots. Of course, depending on the size of your dog, this might be easier said than done. If your pooch is quite small then consider putting your pup on a secure table, chair, or pedestal for portrait shots. Larger breeds are little easier to photograph as you can just kneel down to get yourself at the right angle. Once you’re at the right height, try to keep the camera level with the middle of your dog’s body or chest height to get the best angle.
Consider the lighting
It is no secret that lighting is key for taking photographs. A good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to natural lighting for photographs is to shoot when the light is at its softest. Late afternoon or early morning light is generally the most flattering and will bring out the multiple colours of your dog’s coat.
Don’t forget about the backdrop
Nothing ruins a great shot quite like a poor backdrop. When you’re looking to set up your shoot, keep an eye out for objects in the background that could distract from your dog. A busy, cluttered backdrop will make it difficult to focus on the subject of the photo (i.e. your dog) so instead try to keep the backdrop simple, natural, and plain. Thanks to the usually clear and simple backdrop, the beach or a park are great places to shoot candid photos of your dog. Get a helper
If you’re trying to get some fabulous shots of your dog but are struggling to get him to stand still then try enlisting the help of a friend to entertain your dog while you take the picture. With your dog distracted and entertained you can focus fully on the camera and getting that all-important shot.
Keep it fun
You don’t want your dog to run for the hills ever time he sees your camera come out. In the beginning, keep photo shoots with your furball fun and playful. It’s important to get your dog used to the idea of having his picture taken before trying to pose him for portrait shots. You can put your dog at ease by giving him some toys to play with before you start shooting. Once your dog is occupied by the toys you can capture some great shots of your pup at play.
Check out this list of 10 most and least intelligent dog breeds
So you think your pooch is a canine Einstein? You’re not alone, thousands of dog owners believe their furry friends are blessed with a unique intelligence but the truth is your dog’s intelligence is dependant on a number of factors including lifestyle, and of course, breed. In his book, The Intelligence of Dogs, Stanley Coren takes a look at the brightest and ditsiest breeds based on results from over 200 professional dog obedience judges.
These breeds were able to understand new commands with less than 5 repetitions and were seen to obey the first command 95 percent of the time or better.
1. Border Collie – no surprise here, border collies are known for their ability to outsmart whole flocks of sheep in the fields.
2. Poodle – this may come as a surprise to some but despite their ditsy and high-maintenance appearance, poodles are indeed top of the class when it comes to smarts.
3. German Shepherd – there’s a reason this breed is favoured by the police force the world over and it’s not just for their intimidating looks.
4. Golden Retriever – not just a pretty face, the golden retriever is a popular choice for those who want a dog with brains and beauty.
5. Doberman Pinscher – this highly energetic and intelligent dog is well suited for police and military work as well as a family guardian and companion.
6. Shetland Sheepdog – Shelties are intelligent, vocal, excitable, energetic and willing to please. They’re hard-working dogs with a heart of gold.
7. Labrador Retriever – labs are considered the most ’employable’ breed and are put to work as assistance dogs to the handicapped, search and rescue dogs, and even retrievers for hunters.
8. Papillon – these little bundles of joy are known for their agility and obedience and are a joy to train.
9. Rottweiler – these clever sausages were among the earliest police dogs and are also very popular family guardians and friends.
10. Australian Cattle Dog – this breed thrives on having a job to do and on being part of all family activities. They are loyal and protective and a real assest in any home.
Lowest Degree of Intelligence
These fluffballs required over 80 to 100 repetitions or more when being taught new commands and were found to only obey the first command 25 percent of the time or worse.
1. Shih Tzu – these little fluffs are lovers not hunters. Bred solely to be a companion, the Shih Tzu is an affectionate, happy, outgoing housedog.
2. Basset Hound – these laid-back family friends are happiest when they’re around their humans.
3. Mastiff – this breed makes a fine companion for anyone who can accommodate their great size and oafish nature.
4. Pekingese – bred to be the cherished companions of the imperial family of China, Pekingese are indeed cute as a button.
5. Chihuahua – this pint-sized breed often sports a big personality and they love nothing more than being side-by-side with people.
6. Pug – know known as the clowns of the canine world, because they have a great sense of humour and like to show off, Pugs often live in their own little world.
7. Chow Chow – this aloof breed has a proud, independent spirit that some describe as catlike. If you’re looking for a cuddle buddy, this probably isn’t the best breed for you.
8. Bulldog – originally bred to drive cattle to market, these days they’re gentle companions who love a good nap on the sofa and a cuddle.
9. Basenji – while actually extremely intelligent this breed has found its way to the bottom of the list thanks to a unique stubborn streak. A Basenji may know perfectly well all the commands you teach him, but whether he actually performs them will always be in question.
10. Afghan Hound – Independence and indifference aside, the Afghan Hound is tender when he wishes to be and can be very amusing.