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Why Do Dogs Hide Treats?

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Why Do Dogs Hide Treats?

Dog treats are elusive little things—they can magically disappear into a dog's nose in seconds, or they can somehow be transported throughout the house, only to appear later on the sides of couch cushions, the toes of boots , laundry room bottom baskets or recycled from destroyed flower beds, stuck in the soil.

So why do some dogs hide their treats? Does hiding treatment count as bad behavior? How do you get your dog to stop burying food everywhere, thereby reducing the chances of him sitting on something particularly pointy when you sit down for a cup of tea?

Read on to learn more about this inherent behavior in dogs and learn why dogs hide their treats.

Why do dogs hide their treats?

There are many reasons why your dog might be secretly smuggling their food into some favorite hiding spot, such as if they're stocking up on food for the winter. Here are the most common explanations:

1. It’s part of their ancient dog DNA

Domestic dogs spend most of their time nuzzling their favorite toys, begging for belly scratches and comically sticking their heads out of car windows. They are no longer the wild, prey-sniffing hunting machines they once were, like their cousins the wolf or coyote. Believe it or not, the instinct to hide food does come from ancient canine behavior. That said, if your dog wants to hide treats instead of eating them right away, it could be a sign that you're feeding them more treats than they need. Ideally, your dog should want to wolf down the food as soon as they receive it, as they should know they can only get a certain amount of food each day.


2. Anxiety or learned behavior

Your dog's past experiences may have caused them to hide treats out of anxiety. Maybe they live with, or have lived with, a lot of dogs and the food was somewhat "free"; or maybe their horrific experience of being deprived of food means they have lingering anxiety about when they will get food next. Chat with your veterinarian to discuss ways to ease your dog's mood.


3.For entertainment

Hiding and finding food can be a fun game for your dog. As we mention below, many dog breeds are more prone to hiding and searching for food/treats than others, so they are likely to do this regardless of the situation.


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