Skip to Content

Why does my Golden Retriever hide its treats and bones?

Why does my Golden Retriever hide its treats and bones?

If your Golden Retriever has been hiding its treats or bones you might want to know why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common reasons why they do it and what you can do to stop it.

So, why does my Golden Retriever hide its treats and bones? The most likely reason is that it does it naturally and that it is an inherited trait. However, it could also be due to anxiety, nausea, being fed too much, possessiveness or you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.

Your Golden Retriever might be doing it for many reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason and there are a number of things you can do to stop it.

Why your Golden Retriever hides its treats and bones

Below are some common reasons why Golden Retrievers hide their bones and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has been doing it.

Nature

The reason why your Golden Retriever does it is likely to be that it is in its nature to do it (source). When its ancestors would catch food they would sometimes stash the food away since it would allow them to have food available to them if they were unable to find any more. This is a trait that dogs still have today and it could be why your Golden Retriever hides its treats and toys.

Anxiety

Another possible reason why it has been doing it might be that something is making it become anxious. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being anxious such as by hiding.

Nausea

The reason could be that it has nausea which would be more likely if your Golden Retriever has been “air burying” its food and if it has been eating less. It would also be more likely if it has been doing other things such as vomiting, being fatigued or pulling to the side on walks.

It is being fed too much

The cause might be that it is being fed too much and it feels like it should stash the food it doesn’t need away for later. Generally, it is recommended for Golden Retrievers to eat between 989 and 1,272 calories per day when they are sedentary and between 1,353 and 1,740 when they are acting. But, it would help to confirm exactly how much your Golden Retriever should be getting with your local vet.

Possessiveness

The cause could be that it is being possessive which is where it does not want other people or animals going near its possessions. This would be more likely if your Golden Retriever also has other possessive tendencies such as by guarding its food when eating or protecting its spot on the sofa.

You have inadvertently rewarded the behavior

It might also be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior by giving it things that it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it more treats, bones or attention when it hides them, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Instead, it would help to avoid giving it rewards when it doesn’t behave the way you want and to follow the other tips mentioned below.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when trying to figure out why your Golden Retriever has been doing it.

When it started doing it

If your Golden Retriever has started doing it suddenly, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.

If it started doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as being fed more, becoming anxious or possibly becoming ill.

If it has always done it then it would be more likely that it does it naturally.

When it does it more

If it does it more at a certain time, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing of when it tends to do it.

If it hides its treats more when another pet is nearby then it might be the case that it is trying to hide its treats from that pet.

Whereas, if it does it at random times then it could be doing it for any of the reasons mentioned above.

What to do about your Golden Retriever burying its treats

Below are a number of options you have when getting your Golden Retriever to stop doing it. You will likely find that using a combination of them will work best.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

As mentioned above, it could be the case that your Golden Retriever has learned to do it more since it gets rewards when it does it.

Instead of giving your Golden Retriever things when it hides its treats try to reduce its ability to do it and to only reward it when it is well behaved.

Reduce its ability to dig

It would help to reduce its ability to dig. You could do this by sectioning off parts of the backyard where it is easier for it to dig. Another option would be to cover the area that it tends to dig with rocks.

Get help from a dog behaviorist

If you are not sure why your Golden Retriever has been doing it but it has been doing it a lot, it would help to get help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to see why it has been doing it and how to get it to stop.

Nothing

It is not uncommon for Golden Retrievers or other dogs to hide their food or bones so as long as it is not showing signs of being possessive, ill or anxious you could allow it to do it if you want to.

This post may contain affiliate links. Petdogowner may be paid a commission from the companies mentioned in this post. This has no effect on the price that you pay and we are very grateful for any support.

Most Recommended For Golden Retrievers

Best Golden Retriever Treats

Our favorites: N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring (on Amazon) - Great for Golden Retriever puppies. American Journey Dog Treats (on Amazon) - Great for adult Golden Retrievers.