Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Innate Behavior?

Oscar after playing in the Mulch Pile

My dog Oscar did something funny this weekend. We stopped at the store and bought him a beef chewy - this tendon thing that he can go to town on. He's had treats similar to it, but never this exact treat before. So, my wife and I are in the backyard cleaning up our patio, and there is a hole in the flower bed that Oscar had dug many weeks before - if he wants to rumble with us, he digs a hole because he thinks it'll antagonize us into chasing him around the yard.
Anyway, he's trying to get us to chase him, but we're only half-heartedly playing with him, cause we're trying to clean up. Oscar ditches us, goes inside and gets his new chew treat, and brings it outside. He places it in the hole, and then I see him moving his face back and forth across the dirt.
I got my wife's attention, and mouthed "what's he doing?" He was burying the bone, using his nose as a shovel! Oscar is a talented digger with his paws, but he elected to replace the dirt with his nose. It was incredible, because 1) I'm certain he hasn't seen another dog do this, and 2) he's not a hound/hunting/digging dog - he's a Brussels Griffon, which is a toy breed, and thus I wouldn't expect him to have any innate "bone burying" tendencies.
For some reason, we were very proud of the guy for showing the desire and ingenuity to bury his bone, and he was obviously insanely cute when he was done, face covered with mud. We were trying to figure out if a) he really liked the treat and wanted to save it or b) hated it and wanted to get rid of it so we would get him something else! I'm leaning toward a).


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