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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wally will "bury" his bones under the blanket on his dog bed.

He didn't used to do this, and doesn't always do it, but the last two bones I put on his blanket while he was laying on them, he would use his head to push the bone on to the bed, then move the blanket around so that it covers the bone! :eek:

I just watched him do it. I wonder what made him do start doing that? It's interesting to watch to say the least.
 

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Yes, this is a fixed-action pattern. Something innate to the dog turns on a program in his brain and the behavior you see is the result of that program running. If you've ever seen a Border Collie shoot for a flock, a good BC will not run straight at the flock...he'll run in a pear-shaped pattern to influence the flock in a more controlled manner. That pear-shaped pattern is a fixed action pattern. I use to have a video or a rescue BC demonstrating this while chasing a tennis ball.

Elsa never roto-tillered the lawn after eliminating until she turned 3. Now she does it all the time. This is a fixed-action pattern too. The onset of fixed-action patterns is interesting. Some are so interesting they make you scratch your head, some are predictable and have a purpose.

For example, a new mama and her pup. If a wandering pup whines, mama dog is very good about retrieving the pup and bringing him back to the litter. That is until the 14th day. (I'm pulling 14 days out from memory) But after that 14th day mama stops retrieving the whining pup. It's time for pup to start exploring the world on his own. Whatever chemical reaction controlled the retrieving behavior ceases, and mama dog is no longer compelled to retrieve the pup. It's all so very interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, that was some interesting information!

I never knew about such behaviors - this is very very interesting.

I'm gonna be watching for more of these, and doing some searching for more info.

Thanks for the response. As usual, I learned some behaviorial info from you :)
 

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P.J. does the same thing. Whenever I can't find her bones, I look in the couch cushions because she "buries" them in the couch. She also buries food sometimes. She puts a piece or two of food in the corner of the couch and then pushes the nonexistent dirt over the top of it with her nose. I always wonder what she's thinking when she stops. Is she thinking "Oh, there's actually no dirt to cover that up", or "OK, that's enough invisible dirt to hide it"?

On the rototilling (I've never thought of it that way, it's hilarious), she pretty much always does it, but occasionally she really digs in and kicks up the grass. She squats down like she's getting ready to pee and really kicks the dirt hard. She looks like a drag car spinning its tires at the starting line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Very interesting indeed :)

So fascinating how animals communicate and behave.
 
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