4 Main Reasons Why Is My Dog Hiding Things

4 Main Reasons Why Is My Dog Hiding Things

Author WDF Staff


Some dogs have tendencies to hide things. Toys, treats, and clothes are all in danger if your dog gets a hold of them. But why do dogs hide things? Is it a natural instinct, or can this behavior indicate some underlying health problems? Not all dogs will hide things, but many dog owners have reported this "strange" behavior and are worried about their dogs. Let's look at the 4 main reasons why dogs hide things

1. Natural instinct

Dogs in the past had to hunt for their food. To keep food from other animals, they had to bury food. This is a survival skill that worked pretty well. Today dogs don't have to hunt to eat, but that behavior of hiding food remains.

So if you ever catch your dog hiding half of his treat, don't get mad since this is a natural instinct and not something they do to make you angry. With this behavior, they are saving food for later.

2. Anxiety

Dogs tend to hide toys and treats because of anxiety and stress. Some dogs may have had a bad experience in the past, while others live with another dog that will take their possessions. Most of the cases where we can see dogs hiding things because of anxiety happen with rescue dogs. Rescue dogs go through trauma, and they tend to hide something because of the bad past experience.

RELATED: 7 Dog Breeds Most Likely to Suffer From Separation Anxiety

3. Seeking attention

To get your attention, dogs will do all sorts of strange things. Hiding things can trigger you to interact with the dog and start playing, and that is precisely what the dog wants.

dog and toys

4. Overfeeding

There are cases where your dog will hide treats because it cannot consume them at a given moment. Suppose you overfeed your dog, and the dog realizes that he won't be able to finish the food or treats you have provided to him. In that case, the dog could easily hide the remaining treats and save them for later.

Obesity is a severe health problem, and if your notice your dog gaining a little weight, you should consult with your vet and change his diet.

Should I be worried if my dog hides things?

Hiding things is entirely normal in moderation. If you catch your dog hiding things excessively, you should check your dog that there would be no unnoticed problems. This is considered harmless behavior, but dog owners should not encourage it. Owners should instead make more time to play with their dogs.

How to stop this behavior?

1. Build trust

Dogs hide things to protect them from other animals. If you create a stronger bond with your dog, your dog will not have a need to hide things and treats from you since he will start to recognize you as a reliable source of food.

dog and bone

2. Don't give too much

Don't overfeed your dog with treats, and don't give him a ton of toys. You could use a few toys for your dog and rotate them so your dog would not lose interest in them.

3. Play with your dog

If your dog is psychically and mentally active, there will be less opportunity for him to expose bad behavior. You will create a stronger bond with your dog by playing with him, and your dog will trust you more.

RELATED: What Are Good Toys for Dogs?

What you shouldn't do to stop this behavior?

Suppose you want to change your dog's behavior, either for hiding things or other behavior problems. In that case, you should never use fear and punishment. Your dog will best react by using positive reinforcement methods and calmly teaching your dog not to hide things.

If you decide to take away a thing the dog intends to hide, you should always replace that thing with something better for the dog.

RELATED: 8 Tips And Tricks - Puppy And Dog Socialization


Dogs tend to hide things – toys, treats, clothes, and there is nothing strange in that behavior. In most cases, that is harmless behavior. Still, if you want to stop this behavior, you should use positive reinforcement methods. If you have problems correcting this behavior, you should get advice from a dog trainer.

World Dog Finder team

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