Dogs will sometimes bring their food to their owner because they trust them. They’re looking for a good place to keep it for later, and what better place than their reliable owner? It’s similar to burying a bone, only instead of leaving it in the ground, they’re leaving it with you for safekeeping.
If you have a dog, this has likely happened to you at some point or another. It’s pretty common dog behavior. Your dog takes the biscuit that you gave her, carries it all the way across the house, and then gives it back to you.
You’re flattered, but you’re also confused. Why is your dog looking at you as though she’s just given you a gift or something? If it’s a gift, then why does she sometimes return at some point and take it back? Maybe you’ve wondered if your dog just doesn’t understand how gifts work.
Why is my dog doing this?
Dogs are pretty clever animals. They know that if they bring you food, that food is going to be safe with you. You are like the dog refrigerator. Or better yet, you are like the dog bank where food can be safely deposited and withdrawn later.
Your dog knows from experience that you’re not going to eat it. If she left it with another dog, this might not be the case. Humans are more trustworthy when it comes to this.
Why does my dog leave things around at all?
You may have already sort of known about this dog behavior, but not quite put two and two together. Dogs love to leave things in safe, sometimes hidden places so that they can come back later when they’re hungry or just when they feel like chewing on something. When you don’t have pockets, strategically leaving things lying around is your only option.
You, the owner, are a sort of temporary burial spot for that delicious biscuit. This may seem a little bit insulting. After all, you’ve done for them, you’re no more useful than a hole in the ground would be?
But you shouldn’t take it like that – your dog is actually putting a lot of faith in you. She’s trusting you to keep that biscuit safe from predators and rivals.
Now, there might not actually be other predators or rivals in your house, but your dog doesn’t necessarily know that. It’s just natural instinct leftover from the days of dogs living outside and fending for themselves without humans to bring them free biscuits and squeaky toys.
Does my dog want to eat with me?
Another explanation for this sort of behavior is that when it comes to eating, dogs are kind of like people. Some of them like to eat with other people, some of them like to eat alone. Your dog may very well prefer to eat with you than to eat alone. If you’re not near your dog’s bowl, then if she wants company for dinner, she has no choice but to bring her food over to you. This is, of course, a big honor.
Is This Really A Bad Thing?
It’s an honor to know that your dog loves and trusts you, of course, but this sort of behavior does have possible downsides. Dog food tends to smell pretty terrible, so you may not really want it around you.
If you’re in bed or on the couch, it can get on the sheets or the cushions and be annoying to get out. Not to mention the smell.
And that’s just what happens when you can actually see where she left the food that she has decided to carry over. If she drops it somewhere out of the way and you lose track of it, don’t worry, you’ll discover it soon enough. You’ll discover it in a few days when it starts to smell bad, and you have to go searching for it.
Is There Anything I Can Do About It?
If this starts happening to you, it may be time to remind your dog and yourself the reason there’s a dog bowl in the first place. If you feed your dog in a room that you’re not in most of the time, that could be why she’s always carrying it to you.
What if my dog likes eating with me?
One potential solution is putting the bowl in the room that you’re in. That way, your dog can eat with you without having to carry food all over the place and make a mess.
If your dog is the type of dog who likes bringing you food, it could mean that she’s just happy when she’s giving you things. It might not necessarily have to be food.
What If My Dog Just Likes Bringing Me Stuff?
You could try some good old-fashioned fetch in order to satisfy this need with something other than food. All that bonus exercise might also make your dog hungrier, and so they might end up more likely to just eat all of their food on the spot instead of bringing some of it to you.
What Should I Do If My Dog Likes Bringing Me Stuff?
It’s also possible that your dog bringing you food all the time is a sign that you’re giving them too much food. You may want to consider giving them less food, to begin with. If you don’t know how much food you should be giving your dog, you may want to consult a vet who will be able to give you the correct amount of food for your exact dog.
What About Wild Food?
At the end of the day, the domesticated dogs that we know and love are still similar to their wild ancestors. And every owner is reminded of this when their dog brings them something that’s kind of like food but hopefully isn’t food – dead animals.
Chances are that you didn’t train your dog to go fetch you small birds. But they may be getting dropped at your feet regardless. Why is this? Well, your dog will leave you these somewhat gross presents for a different reason.
On top of their natural hunting instincts as predatory animals, dogs have also been bred by humans for years to retrieve animals. So even though I’m sure you have no interest in eating that sparrow, your dog may feel like chasing one down and bringing it to you from time to time. This can happen even if you don’t have what’s typically thought of as a traditional hunting dog breed.
This behavior may not be a problem for you. If you have a rat problem, maybe you’re totally fine with your dog helping you get rid of them. But if you’re the kind of owner who doesn’t want to pick up random dead animals from the floor, you might want to discourage this sort of thing.
What If I Don’t Want Them Bringing Me Animals?
If you want to put a stop to this practice, the best thing to do is work on teaching your dog to drop whatever they have in their mouth. You definitely don’t want to have to pry a dead animal’s carcass out of your dog’s jaws.
But even if you have a pretty obedient dog, it’s unrealistic to expect your dog to never run after a stray squirrel again. Sometimes you just can’t fight extinct. Blame the people who bred dogs for hunting, not your dog.
Can I Stop My Dog From Bringing Me Animals?
You can curtail this behavior to a degree, however. If you make sure that your dog will always come when she’s called, you can keep your dog close by better and prevent them from running off in search of wild meat.
You should also be careful when your dog brings back wild animals. Unlike dog biscuits, raccoons and rats can have rabies. If your dog actually goes a step further and eats his presentation, they will most likely be fine. But if they end up vomiting and diarrhea later, you should call a vet.
So, in short, your dog is bringing you food because they trust you. For the most part, it’s cute, and you shouldn’t worry about it. But in specific instances, it may be worth trying to change their behavior.