Why do dogs bark at their bones? What to Know

Top 4 Reasons Dogs Bark at Their Bones:

Why do dogs bark at their bones?

A dog’s instincts in the wild while hunting involves barking and growling at their prey to subdue it. Since bones are essentially a kind of prey for a domesticated dog, your dog may have those wild instincts kicking in, causing them to bark at their “prey.”

Since bones are from animals, dogs can smell them with those amazing noses of theirs, which is when those instincts might start to take over.

Why do dogs bark at their bones?

Sometimes, dogs bark because they become overexcited. When you have a dog that’s a little wound up, and then you introduce a new and exciting object, like a new bone, a dog might just react by barking at it.

They might need a walk or another way to get that hyper energy brought down to acceptable levels.

Why do dogs bark at their bones?

A dog barking at a bone might just be a form of play. Dogs sometimes also bark at their food. It’s a form of playing with their food and in a way, of also protecting it.

If your dog chews the bone and then starts to growl or bark at it, it generally means your dog is happy and is just enjoying the bone.

Why do dogs bark at their bones?

This is more common when it’s a brand-new bone that your dog hasn’t seen before. If this is the first bone that your dog has ever seen or perhaps it’s a different kind of bone, your pup might be a little wary or confused.

The barking might be the dog sending the bone a warning, but they might also be expressing curiosity.

Why do dogs bark at their bones?

There are several reasons that dogs bark, including:

  • Being protective and territorial
  • Being lonely and bored
  • Looking for attention
  • Sounding an alarm or out of fear
  • When playing or as a greeting
  • Compulsively barking
  • Having separation anxiety
  • Barking at a bone could be the result of a few of these reasons, so you need to watch your dog’s body language while they’re barking at a toy or bone.

    Why Does My Dog Bark at His Bone? (4 Reasons)

    Dogs love a good game, although the rules of the game may not always be clear to humans. Some dogs may exhibit this unusual behavior as part of the game they are playing with their bone. Dogs become highly stimulated by exciting objects, and some dogs begin to express this high level of stimulation through barking. Barking could be used as an invitation to the bone to join the game, or it could just be your dog letting out some excitement about the game they’re preparing to play.

    Dogs are intelligent, social, and curious by nature. Barking at objects may be a way of your dog expressing their curiosity toward an object, and it is most likely to occur for this reason with a new item your dog is not familiar with. If barking for the sake of curiosity, your dog is most likely barking with the intention of seeing how the object will respond. Will it fight or run? (Spoiler alert: it probably won’t do either). Barking can be a quick and easy way for your dog to adequately assess an unfamiliar situation for responses from everyone or everything involved in the interaction.

    Like curiosity, fear is a major motivator for your dog to quickly assess a situation. If your dog is fearful of their bone, they may bark at it to “warn” it to stay away or to verbalize their displeasure. There are a variety of reasons your dog could show fear toward a toy, even one they are familiar with.

    This commonly occurs if the object moves suddenly and unexpectedly, like if it falls from a surface or is accidentally kicked. Fear can also occur when your dog has had a negative experience with the object. This can be related to pain, like your dog might experience if they chew on a bone while they have a toothache, or to other negative experiences, like if your dog was punished for chewing on something similar.

    In rare instances, your dog may be attempting to assert dominance in an uncomfortable situation, causing them to bark at their bone. It’s possible that your dog is turning their discomfort in a situation toward their bone, but it’s also possible that your dog has misidentified the bone and thinks it is a threat to their dominance.

    This could occur in specific situations, like if your dog has resource guarding issues and feels like their bone is “encroaching” on their space during a meal or while eating a treat. If your dog has resource guarding or other undesirable behaviors that lead to dominance tendencies, then you should consult your vet, a veterinary behaviorist, or a trainer with experience with dogs that have resource guarding tendencies.

    Maintaining Its “Killing” Instinct

    If you are asking “Why does my dog bark at his bone?” then you will have to realize this is a natural instinct for the dog.

    With a dog barking at a dog bone, they might just be looking to subdue the dog bone as they would with prey in the wild.

    Imagine a dog hunting another animal. They would look to growl, bark, and scare the animal while catching up to them. The same applies here with a dog bone.Dogs can bark as a way to subdue prey, which is common in the wild and that may be what’s going on when a dog barks at its bone.

    The dog may not be hunting anything, but it will still have this natural reaction to the situation.

    This is why a lot of dog owners also see this with dog food too.

    Why Dogs Bark at Some Strangers And Not Others, and 5 Other Dog Behaviors Explained

    Does your Dachshund bury those expensive dental chews you buy him? Maybe your Standard Schnauzer hides pilfered socks under couch cushions or in blankets on your bed. It’s natural to wonder why your dog is burying something you know he likes. It can also be frustrating if he’s made a molehill out of your backyard. So, why do dogs bury bones and other items?

    Domestic dogs’ ancestors, including wild dogs and the gray wolf, lived on a “feast or famine” diet. (Modern wolves still live on this diet.) While they may need meat every day, they don’t always find it. So, when they do, they will feast and gorge themselves because they know they may not have another meal for a couple of days. This also means they don’t want to waste food by leaving any extra that can’t fit into their bellies immediately. Instead, they bury the food in the dirt. This helps the meat last longer, as the dirt protects it from the sun, which causes meat to go rancid quickly. The wolf can then return to that treasure spot and dig up the meat when hunting is scarce, and he is in need of a meal. Think of it as the wolf’s pantry.

    Of course, your Dachshund is fed every day without fail, probably twice a day. Obviously, he does not need to squirrel away his food, toys, or treats for a famine day. But just like herding, hunting, and tending, burying resources is part of a dog’s natural instinct, and some exhibit it more than others. It’s interesting to note that owners of hunting breeds seem to witness this behavior more than owners of herding or non-sporting breeds. Now that you know where the instinct comes from and its relation to hunting, this tendency for some dogs to dig makes sense. Dogs that are bred for hunting may also have a heightened desire to save their resources as part of their hunting instinct and, therefore, are more likely to bury bones.

    Since you know now that your dog’s urge to bury his bones comes from an instinct to save surplus resources, you can help curb this behavior by making those resources more scarce, thus saving your garden. For example, if your dog has a tendency to bury his toys, give him just one or two at a time. You can rotate toys weekly to keep your dog’s interest and fend off boredom. Also, avoid giving him a bone right after he eats, when his stomach is already full.

    If your dog really seems to enjoy the hide-and-seek aspect of burying, you can turn it into a trick where he “buries” a toy or bone on cue in a pile of blankets or pillows. Then give him a cue to retrieve. This turns it into a game that you and your dog can play together that won’t destroy your yard. If you have the space, you can also give your dog his own dirt box to play in, where he is welcome to bury toys and treats to his heart’s content while staying away from your freshly planted flower garden.

    At the end of the day, providing your dog with a way to dig and bury his bones and toys can really enrich his life, since it satisfies his natural instinct. And now you know where to look the next time you can’t find your TV remote! https://www.akc.org/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php Get Your Free AKC eBook