Dachshund’s Odd Behavior

PAW’S CORNER
By Sam Mazzotta

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: When we give my miniature Dachshund, “Peg,” a chew treat, she takes it and walks all over the house crying. She will stop and “bury” it in different places, under a blanket or behind things, then pull it right back out and continue the process again and again for a while before she finally settles down and begins chewing it. We were wondering what is going on in her head that results in this behavior. — Curious Doxie Mom

DEAR DOXY MOM: Peg’s behavior has all the earmarks of instinctive behaviors applied to a specific item (the chew treat). Dachshunds are notorious diggers –it’s part of what they were originally bred for, as working dogs that would root out vermin like moles. So it’s not too surprising that she does this with her chew toys. The crying seems like a way of announcing possession, like “hey, this is mine, I got it, check it out!” rather than distress. If the behavior happens only at treat time and doesn’t bother you or harm the
furniture, it’s up to you whether to let it continue. However, it sounds like Peg needs more stimulation in her life. Try playing games where you “bury” a toy (cover it with a pillow, say) and have her find it. You can even go so far as to build a sandbox out back where she can bury and dig up toys during play times, under your supervision. Don’t let her dig in other parts of the yard, though; if she starts that up,
distract her and give her something else to do (like teaching basic obedience commands) or bring her back to the sandbox to dig.

Send your questions or tips to ask@pawscorner.com, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit www.pawscorner.com.

(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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