When it comes to dogs and weird behaviors, people often assume that it’s their way of seeking attention or validation. In most cases, this is true. Owners are unknowingly fueling attention-seeking habits. However, one curious case seems to defy this conventional wisdom. Here’s the story of Babs.
Babs is a small dog with a strange habit. Whenever he is left alone to eat, he does something to his food. He scatters grains of dog food using his paws then eats them on the ground.
Whenever the owner comes back, they see a mess. They have another dog that doesn’t have the habit. Perhaps that dog thinks Babs is weird as well.
The owners are sure that the behavior is not caused by a dislike of food. Babs is always the one to initiate feeding time. So the owners assume it must have been a method of seeking attention.
A dog behaviorist disagrees with the owner’s hypothesis. If Babs was seeking attention, he would misbehave while his owners are present. However, Babs does it when no one is around, so it must be something else.
Another hypothesis suggests the behavior is caused by stress. The animal behaviorist used a state-of-the-art device to measure Bab’s stress level when the owners are not around. The device confirmed that Babs was anxious; however, when he was pawing the food, he was actually relaxed.
Another expert suggested that it’s a phenomenon called “contra-free-loading.” This means Babs was actually working towards earning what he wants rather than eating the free food. In a way, it was a form of self-development.
The expert suggested an alternative solution. They added different toys along with a maze-like barricade inside Bab’s room. This helps him stimulate his mind and fulfill his desire for enrichment before his meal. As expected, it worked like a charm. Bab no longer pawed his food because he had other things to focus on before eating.
Video courtesy of SBS TV Animals via YouTube.