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Why does your Dog love to carry sticks back home?

April 8, 2023

I love my dog. He's always happy to see me, even if he's been home for hours. I come back home and just drop all my baggage the moment he comes running to me. e go on long walks, jogs, we play together at the park. He's loved by the kids from my apartment. He plays with them too. But I'm always surprised by how much he likes to bring home sticks from our walks. Is this normal? I tried stopping it but he just wouldn't listen. How can you tell if your dog is just being stubborn or actually wants to play with you? Is it safe for dogs to chew on sticks? Here are some reasons why dogs love to bring home sticks after a walk:

The stick is part of their ecosystem:

You must've noticed dogs love sticks, they love to chew sticks. They are so used to finding sticks in their environment, they use them to play and as a tool to dig up food. Dogs that live in areas that have lots of trees will be more likely to find sticks since they would have been used by other animals. Some even say, the shape of the sticks remind them of bones and they'd like to chew and we all know that our dogs love bones.

Your dog wants to play with you:

Your dog might be carrying sticks because he likes to play with them. Your dog loves to carry toys around and drop them at your feet, but sometimes he also likes to show off by waving the sticks in the air.

Playing fetch can also be an attention seeking behavior for your dog, especially if you're not home when they're playing with their toys outside. Sometimes they'll bring their stick back inside the house so that you can toss it again! The sticks are not harmful unless it breaks in their mouth and they end up swallowing. They cannot digest bigger chunks of wood. Also the sticks could be sharp or have thorns which can injure them. If you want them to stop eating sticks, stop chewing sticks, buy them toys that they can chew upon or play fetch. There a lot of stick alternatives for dogs in the market as well.

They have a primal need to gather resources:

Dogs are pack animals, and they like to gather resources. If a dog has something to chew on when it's tired out from walking around, that's great! But if the only thing available is a stick or stick-like object, then your dog will be compelled to pick it up and carry it around with him until he can find something better—or at least something better than what he already has in his mouth.

They enjoy having an object:

Dogs like having objects to carry. They may be doing it for the same reason as children: to feel closer to their owners, who are usually holding an item of interest. We like to hold things in hands and they do it through their mouths. That's why they love their chew toy so much. Since sticks are easily available, dogs chew on them too. Some sticks have a texture that feels good to the teeth. So they prolong chewing on them. Dogs carry sticks after walks because they like the smell of them. The scent is comforting, familiar and a reminder of home for many dogs, who may have lived with their human pack in tents or other shelters

So, why do dogs carry sticks after walks? The answer is simple: It's instinctive behavior for them. They have a natural need to gather resources, and the stick has a unique smell that makes them happy. So don't worry about your dog bringing home sticks from their walks—it's perfectly normal. Just be sure that the stick doesn't break and they end up swallowing them. Or just train him to play with his toys more. He'll slowly get over the sticks. My dog and I, have come to a common ground. It's ok to chew on a stick as long as I know the texture. He's kind enough to oblige.