As a dog owner, you might be wondering why your dog wants you to hold his bone while eating or just at random times. For example, you give your dog bone and expect it to get busy with it, while you do something else. Instead, your dog brings the bone to you, and as soon as you hold it, he happily eats it up.
So what could be the reason for this? Is it just a dog thing? Or could it represent a much deeper need of your pet?
Here are the 7 reasons responsible.
1. He wants your attention.
Dogs are pretty much like humans: they eat, sleep, and have emotional needs too. Your dog might just be bringing his bone to you to get your attention. Perhaps you have been to busy with work, your family, or even another dog and has had no time for him.
A dog will give you the bone to get your attention and to make you focus on him. Dogs need attention too, and when they do not get it, they look for other ways to cat h your attention, such as bringing a bone or being moody. If you find us that this behavior is becoming more rampant, you might need to check if you are actually giving your dog the attention it needs.
2. He is expressing his affection for you.
As earlier stated, dogs have emotions too, and they express these emotions in different ways. Sometimes, your dog wants to show his love and admiration for you by giving you his bone to hold.
It might sound a little bit strange, but think of it this way, do you think your dog would allow a complete stranger to hold his bone? Most likely not. Giving you his bone is a sign that he trusts you and holds you in high regard, admiring you as his owner. It is the same reason why dogs always feel so happy playing ‘fetch.’ They are rewarded with a tap or a comment like ‘good dog,’ which makes them feel loved.
3. It makes it easier for him to eat it.
Some dogs find it difficult to navigate a bone while they are eating, especially if the bone is a big one, or the dog is still a puppy. Giving you the bone to hold may also be a sign that he needs help with the bone, and holding it makes it a lot easier for him to eat it.
Some dogs even use other body parts, like your feet or elbow, to nudge the bone and eat it easily. This habit can be annoying because the bone drips with saliva while he eats, which can get on your clothes or furniture, or the crumbs of his meal can also get on your face and clothes. You can help by giving him a sizeable bone to reduce the number of times he comes to you for help.
4. He is possessive.
This could also be a show of your dog’s possessiveness over you, especially if there are other family members or dogs around that share your attention with him. Just as he wants your attention, he is also sending out a message that you are his owner, and everyone should stay off. However, if this leads to aggressive behavior, you should try to check for the root cause of this behavior.
It could also show possessiveness over his bone. He values his items so much, including the bone, and does not want anyone to come close to it. So he gives it to you. Some may even go a step further and nudge you to keep it safe for them, like on a top-shelf.
5. He wants to share it with you.
If your dog loves you, he would want to share both his time and items with you. So, it is a natural thing when your dog gives you his bone to hold. Think of it as your friend sharing a pack of candy with you willingly. This may also indicate that your dog is in the mood for some fun and wants to play with you, so is trying to bait you with his bone so you can engage him in a playtime activity or something interesting you two does together.
6. He is showing dominance.
Although this is not usually common, your dog wanting you to hold his bone could also be how your dog shows he is the dominant one in your relationship with him. Especially when you notice aggressive behaviors like teeth showing and growling when you refuse to hold the bone or drop it abruptly. If this is the case, ensure that you show your dog that you are the dominant partner. Of course, if the behavior becomes too aggressive, or is accompanied by frequent biting of you or those around you, please see a professional as your dog might have an underlying factor causing the dominance issue.
7. He wants to bond with you.
Similar to showing love and affection, your dog may also give you his bone in order to create a deeper bond with you, not for any other reason in particular. Dogs enjoy relationships just like you do and can use this as a way of seeking a deeper connection with you. If you find out this is the case, embrace this as an opportunity to create a life long friendship with your furry friend.
How do I get my dog to stop?
If you consider this a bad behavior and you want your dog to stop, the first thing is to determine why your dog likes you to hold his bone.
Is it out of love? Is it dominance?
If the reason is positive, as a show of love, it is not a bad thing after all, although you might want to reduce the frequency.
The next time he brings his bone, do not hold it. Leave it on the floor or keep it on another surface. You could also tell him ‘No.’ Doing these over some time will pass the message to your furry friend that you can’t hold his bone every time.
If this bone holding behavior is accompanied by aggression and other negative behavior, it is better to talk to a professional to find out the reason behind this. Trying to stop him on your own will only make him worse, and hence, is not advisable.
Your dog wanting you to hold his bone is a way your dog uses or expresses emotions to you, good or bad since it can not talk. It is not a bad behavior per se; it just shows your dog’s need for you.
To reduce it, follow the tips above, and you would see a reduction in the behavior. Do not also forget to enjoy your dog’s company and affection too.
After all these bone holding sessions bring you and your dog closer to each other. Only when these sessions become too frequent or are accompanied by unfriendly attitudes that require a professional hand.