Do you often find dog food or treats buried in your Dachshund’s bed or the back of your sofa? Are you wondering why they aren’t being eaten right away? Here’s everything you need to know about why Dachshunds bury their food and treats!
Why Do Dachshunds Bury Their Food And Treats? Dachshunds bury their food and treats because they’re hard-wired to resource guard things that are of high value to them. This may be why they won’t bury their kibble, which they have access to daily, but will bury a tasty chew that they don’t get as often.
Read on to find out more about why Dachshunds bury their food and treats and whether you should stop it from happening.
Table of Contents
- Why Does My Dachshund Bury Their Food And Treats?
- Have Dachshunds Always Buried Their Food And Treats?
- Are Dachshunds More Likely To Bury Their Food And Treats Than Other Breeds?
- Does Burying Treats Mean My Dachshund Is Not Hungry?
- Why Does My Dachshund Only Bury Treats And Not Their Normal Food?
- Does My Dachshund Enjoy Burying Their Food And Treats?
- Should I Encourage My Dachshund To Bury Their Food And Treats?
- Should I Stop My Dachshund From Burying Their Food And Treats?
- What do I do next?
This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist.
Why Does My Dachshund Bury Their Food And Treats?
This is why your Dachshund buries their food and treats:
Your Dachshund Has Anxiety
If your Dachshund tends to be quite anxious around food or treats, they may not feel comfortable enough to eat right there and then.
Instead, they might want to bury their food or treats and come back to it when they’re feeling calmer.
Just the same as humans who may not feel hungry if they’re stressed about something, your Dachshund can feel this way too.
Your Dachshund Is Attention Seeking
If you give your Dachshund lots of attention when they’re burying their food or treats, they may continue to do it more to get your attention.
Even if you react negatively to them for burying food or treats, to your Dachshund, this still counts as getting attention from you!
If you get annoyed when you notice your Dachshund has dug up your new plants to bury their treats underneath, you’re essentially throwing them a party and inviting them to do it again.
Instead, if you ignore them whilst they’re hiding their food, they may be less inclined to keep doing it as often.
This’ll only be the case if attention seeking is the main reason behind them burying their food and treats in the first place.
Your Dachshund Is Resource Guarding
Because Dachshunds are bred to dig, kill and then guard burrowing animals whilst hunting, they may mimic this behaviour in a home environment too.
They’d be expected to trap burrowing animals underground in their burrows, then bark loudly until the hunter dug them out to retrieve the kill and their dog.
Essentially this means that Dachshunds are hard-wired to resource guard things that are of high value to them.
Although this is less likely to be prey these days, they often replace this with other items of high value, most commonly food, treats, toys – and even your slippers!
By burying their food or treats and standing guard over them, it keeps other potential threats away from stealing their favourite things that they value the most.
Your Dachshund Enjoys Burying Food And Treats
Your Dachshund may simply just want to bury their food and treats because they simply enjoy doing it.
Dachshunds find the physical act of digging relaxing, as feel-good hormones known as Endorphins are released whilst they practice the behaviour.
Allowing your Dachshund to regularly practice any of their natural behaviours such as digging, sniffing and running, is sure to make them feel happier and more contented.
Your Dachshund Is Full
Because your Dachshund has access to high quality food, they may not feel hungry if you offer them something else to eat.
They’d rather bury their treat for later when they do get hungrier.
If you overfeed your Dachshund they’re much more likely to bury and save their food and treats for later.
Overfeeding can be a real issue for Dachshunds as they’re prone to obesity.
So, if your Dachshund is constantly burying food or treats, check that you’re feeding the right amount each day.
Your Dachshund Doesn’t Like The Food
Dachshunds are often very fussy eaters!
So it may also be the case that your Dachshund doesn’t particularly like the food you’re feeding them, or they don’t really fancy it at the time.
By burying it in their bed, behind the sofa or even in the garden, they can save it and decide if they want to eat it later.
Your Dachshund Has Obsessive Behaviours
Obsessive behaviours are most commonly an issue for Dachshunds that are already anxious.
If they’re not provided with help to overcome their insecurities and anxieties, burying food can become an obsessive behaviour.
This is done in an attempt for your Dachshund to control their anxious feelings.
They essentially become addicted to the feel-good hormones released whilst they’re digging to try and make themselves feel less stressed.
If you feel your Dachshund’s food burying has become excessive, always speak to you vet for advice.
Your Dachshund Has Learned The Behaviour
For some Dachshunds if they’ve been raised in an environment where competition for food was high, they may have learned to bury their food as a way of surviving.
This is most commonly seen in those from large litters of puppies, or those from puppy farms, where their food supply is often limited or sporadic.
By burying it for later, they’re making sure they always have something available to eat.
Even though your Dachshund is no longer in this situation, these behaviours can be difficult for them to let go of.
Have Dachshunds Always Buried Their Food And Treats?
Your Dachshund’s long-lost ancestors will have been required to catch and kill their own prey in order to survive.
It’s unlikely that they’d have consumed the entire kill in one go. Instead, they tended to save some by burying it for later.
In doing so, this kept the leftovers cooler, stopping them from decomposing as quickly and reducing the risk of them being stolen by other predators.
It’s thought that this desire still remains in your Dachshund today. So you may find that if you give them a tasty treat, they’ll be more likely to save it for later.
Are Dachshunds More Likely To Bury Their Food And Treats Than Other Breeds?
Dachshunds have been bred for thousands of years as compact sized hunting dogs.
They’re designed to dig quickly into the ground in search of burrowing prey like rabbits and badgers.
Although many of today’s Dachshunds are no longer used for hunting, the desire to dig is still very much engrained into them.
This can mean that they’re more naturally inclined to bury their food and treats, compared with other dog breeds.
Does Burying Treats Mean My Dachshund Is Not Hungry?
As your Dachshund is likely to have access to optimum amounts of nutritionally balanced foods, they’re less likely to feel intense hunger as their ancestors once did.
Because of this, it may simply be the case that they don’t feel hungry enough to enjoy their food or treat at that given moment.
Why Does My Dachshund Only Bury Treats And Not Their Normal Food?
As a general rule, the higher your Dachshund values certain foods, the more likely they are to bury it to save for later.
This may be why they won’t bury their kibble, that they have access to daily, but they’ll bury a tasty chew that they don’t get given as often.
Does My Dachshund Enjoy Burying Their Food And Treats?
Yes, most Dachshunds simply love to dig and bury things, so in all likelihood, they’ll enjoy burying their food and treats.
In fact, some Dachshunds will bury their food simply for fun and not for any other underlying reason.
Should I Encourage My Dachshund To Bury Their Food And Treats?
Your Dachshund won’t need much encouragement to dig and bury their food. However, it’s not always ideal to allow them to do so.
They could quickly dig their way through your garden in search of the perfect hiding spot. Or bury their food in the back of the sofa, carpet or bedding, which could potentially cause some damage.
So it may be better to redirect this instinct to dig over to a better place.
Snuffle Mats are often a massive amount of fun for Dachshunds as they encourage them to sniff out and find hidden treats.
If you have a garden, you could set up a sand pit area for your Dachshund and encourage them to only dig there.
This allows them to express their strong digging urges without causing chaos in your home and garden.
Should I Stop My Dachshund From Burying Their Food And Treats?
No, as long as the burying behaviour isn’t excessive, it’s fine for your Dachshund to bury food and treats for later.
As digging and burying are such intensely natural behaviours for Dachshunds, it would be bit unfair of you to not allow them to do it.
By giving them a specific place to dig, you’ll make your Dachshund happier whilst also protecting your possessions!
Stopping your Dachshund from wanting to dig and bury things will be nearly impossible, so your focus should be on letting them do it in a more suitable way.
So, there you have it! Dachshunds enjoy burying their food and treats because it’s natural for them to resource guard things that are perceived as high value to them. You’ll often find them burying their food, treats, toys and even your slippers, in the garden, back of the sofa and even their dog bed!
What do I do next?
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