3 min read


Why Do Dogs Cry When Burying Bones



3 min read


Why Do Dogs Cry When Burying Bones




You may have experienced this odd behavior in your dog. You give him a bone and he takes off to bury it in the yard, whining the whole time. Why does your dog cry as he or she buries a bone? We have seen children actually doing this too, but for completely different reasons. For example, you give your daughter a football jersey for Christmas and she runs of crying. When it comes to your dog however, this behavior is most likely not because your dog doesn’t appreciate the gift. So the question is what is in your dog’s thoughts that would make him or her want to cry when you give them a bone?

The Root of the Behavior

Your dog is not in pain, unappreciative, or even scared when he or she runs off crying to bury a bone. Dogs do have some human type emotions. With that being said, the act of you giving him a bone truly makes your dog happy. Your pup runs off, crying with it because he is so unbelievably happy, he has no clue what to do with the bone or where to hide it. Their natural instinct is to protect things they cherish, so your dog is trying to find a way to do just that. It is also important to note that when dogs lived in the wild and hunted together they would bury their food. This was to protect their food from other animals who would prey on it. You see, it took a lot of energy to hunt and kill their prey. And sometimes the hunt went too well that the pack couldn’t eat all the food.

The solution was to bury the food. This helped mask the smell and kept it cool enough so that it was safe to eat later. Burying the food also meant there would be no waste and the next day would be a day of rest instead of work. Since the food was basically marinated in the dirt, it is also probably why your dog doesn’t mind eating dirt every now and again. Since this an instinctual behavior, there is no need to worry about your beloved pet. He or she just overly loves treats and wants to find a safe place to hide them. In a way, your dog is actually thanking you for the treat as he or she starts crying. You know what I mean. Have you ever seen a person cry tears of joy? That is exactly what your dog is doing here. So, don’t let this behavior worry you too much. Dogs will be dogs, after all.

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Encouraging the Behavior

Typically, this behavior of crying or whining while trying to bury a bone is just an instinctual behavior that is not bothersome at all. However, if the whining is excessive it can get on your nerves. A great way to remedy this is to give smaller treats or bones that your beloved pet can eat rather quickly. This will help them to understand they don’t have to hide the leftovers or whine a lot over their treats. Keep in mind that another reason a dog would run of to bury a bone is that he had more than enough to eat or could be overfed. 

When a dog feels as though they have had enough, they want to protect the rest of their treats for later when they are not so full. If your dog is running off with a bone frequently you may want to reconsider by giving them less treats or adjusting their diet. Dogs are pretty smart and really do know when they have had enough to eat. It’s important to make sure you are giving them the proper amount of foods and treats. This will help protect them from obesity and the health issues that go along with it.

Other Solutions and Considerations

If your pup is young, running off and hiding their bone could just be a game they play. When a puppy is young they tend to hide all sorts of objects. This may be out of boredom, but could also be a way of learning to hide an object and retrieve it later. Sometimes, this is their bones or treats they hide. But sometimes it could be your favorite shoe. If this is happening frequently, try to purchase a few toys just for your puppy that will occupy his attention. Over time, he or she will come to learn what toys and treats he can hide and will leave your shoes alone.


So, we have learned that dogs cry when burying their bones because they are happy and just expressing their thanks to us. Dogs hide things that are valuable to them for safe keeping. This is all perfectly natural behavior for a dog and should not be anything to worry about. 

By a Newfoundland lover Billie Raucci

Published: 03/29/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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