Has your dog just brought you his food? Has he deposited a half-chewed piece of slobber covered dog biscuit in your hand then looked at you as if he'd given you something special? It's amazing how some dogs like to share their food with their owners, isn't it? They'll happily carry it in their mouths, through several rooms if they have to, before presenting it to you as if it were a precious gift.
Does your dog bring you his bone and place it at your feet like a ritualistic offering? Or does he drop it on your knee then promptly turn his back and go off to play somewhere different as if he'd already completely forgotten what he'd been chewing on ten minutes before? It's a strange thing to do, isn't it?
So why do dogs bring you their food?
The Root of the Behavior
Your dog is a lot cleverer than you think. He knows when he brings you his food or his bone, it's going to be perfectly safe with you. He's got you figured out. He knows very well you're not going to eat it. If you were, he'd probably think twice about giving it to you. Many people ask if it's true that when dogs bring you their food it means they're giving you a gift. They may well be, but nine times out of ten they usually want it back again. So, on that score alone, probably not.
Dogs like to keep things in safe places so they can return to them later on when they get hungry again or the desire to chew on something arises. Take it how you like, though he doesn't mean it in a bad way because he is using you as an impromptu burial spot or temporary larder to keep his munchies safe. To be honest, it's a big vote of confidence from your dog to you when he brings you his food. He's trusting you to keep his provisions out of reach of any prowling predator who might come along and steal it. Even if you don't have any other pets in the household, his natural instincts mean he wants to make sure his food is out of danger and he's chosen you as the perfect safe storage space.
Do you like dining on your own? Some people do, some people don't. Dogs can be that way too. Your dog might be one of those social animals who really doesn't like to be left in the kitchen or backyard to chow down on his dinner alone. He probably much prefers to eat in company and no-one's company is better than yours. So if you're not close by where his dinner bowl is, there's really only one thing he can do and that is to bring his food to you.
Encouraging the Behavior
It's nice to know that when your dog brings you his food he's showing that he loves and trusts you. One factor which goes against your dog bringing you his food is that pretty much all kibble and any canned pet food smells pretty dreadful. If your dog brings you his food when you're in bed, the sheets will soon start giving off a pretty unpleasant odor. If he drops it somewhere you don't see it, after a couple of days or more, you'll be down on your hands and knees searching for the source of the smell.
Dog food being left all over the floor can turn into a safety hazard. It doesn't matter whether it's wet food or dry. If you're in the kitchen and your dog leaves food all over the flooring tiles, you could quite easily slip and end up on your butt. He'll be happy that you're down at his level for once, but you will probably find it pretty uncomfortable. You may need to subtly remind him why you bought the bowl in the first place.
If you normally feed your dog in a different room than where you are and he's constantly carrying his food closer to you, leaving it at your feet or on your chair, you can probably conclude that he's a dog who doesn't like eating in solitude. If you're not happy with his perpetual food ferrying, you might want to consider relocating your chair closer to his food bowl so he doesn't feel so isolated while eating his dinner.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If your dog likes to bring you food and does it often, he's obviously happy when he's retrieving things and presenting them to you. Why not consider having some extra sessions in the park or garden playing fetch to satisfy his need. The exercise will make him hungrier too and more inclined to eat his dinner rather than give it to you.
If your dog is using you as a safe place to store food he doesn't want to eat, you may want to revise the amount of food you're giving him. If you're not very sure of the correct dietary requirements for your pup, the best thing to do is consult with a vet who will be able to advise you on the correct quantity of food to give your particular dog.
Yes, it's true, dogs do like to bring you their food and you'll more than likely have a hard time convincing your dog you don't find it appetizing. What you could do instead, is teach him how to use the coffee machine and the toaster and tell him you'd much prefer breakfast, rather than kibble, in bed.
By a Chihuahua lover Liz Correal
Published: 02/21/2018, edited: 01/30/2020
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