Dog behavior can sometimes seem strange or even humorous, but there’s usually some kind of scientific explanation. Case in point: If you’ve ever watched your dog meticulously drag every blanket and toy out of their crate and wondered why, you can turn to science for a few possible reasons! We reached out to the experts to learn more about why our furry friends like to empty out their crates.
Why Does My Dog Remove Everything From His Crate?
Some dogs like to take their comfort items along with them, veterinarian Michelle Burch, DVM, told POPSUGAR. “Keeping these comfort items around themselves will provide a source of self-soothing and allow your dog to know these items are safe. Your dog will not have to worry about another animal taking their possessions,” she said.
Conversely, your dog could just have a specific organization they like. “Some dogs prefer aspects of their life compartmentalized. They prefer their play items to be in an area separate from where they are resting or sleeping, so they will push anything other than blankets or fleeces aside,” Shadi Ireifej, DVM, DACVS, chief medical officer at VetTriage, told POPSUGAR.
Dr. Ireifej explained that sometimes a dog’s personality or changes in their day-to-day mood cause them to pull things out of their crate. “It may be that your dog finds something irritating or inappropriate about having items in their crate. Or perhaps the dog is just bored or sick of those items in general and have decided they want new things,” he said. Much like humans, your dog is prone to changing their mind!
Do Biological Instincts Cause Dogs to Empty Out Their Crates?
Dr. Ireifej said that dogs may remove items from their crate instinctually. “They may feel they are covering up their scent or tracks from predators or unwanted visitors; this is the same reason why they bury things,” he explained.
Dr. Burch added that pulling bedding items out of their crate also helps dogs ensure there are no threats of insects or pests, on an instinctual level. “This concern is left over from their wild ancestors to keep themselves safe,” she said. Either way, it’s totally harmless and nothing to worry about — though still very adorable.