The Real Reasons Why Dogs Like To Carry Sticks Home

You're probably familiar with the stereotype that dogs love bones and sticks. But why are these items so popular with our pooches? Dogs have been carrying things like sticks and bones around for as long as they've been domesticated. Some believe this is because their ancestors "stored" food by hiding it in their dens, but there's more to it than that. Let's take a look at some of the many reasons why dogs like to carry sticks home from the dog park:

Retriever Instincts

Dogs with the retriever instinct to retrieve objects are bred to carry things in their mouths. They need to retrieve an object and bring it back to a human, so they get excited when they find something that fits the bill. This explains why a dog might carry home an item of clothing or a toy as well as sticks — he's just looking for something that can be brought back to you!

It's important not to discourage your dog from doing this if you don't want him bringing home sticks all day; instead, teach him how to carry toys correctly so that he knows what is appropriate behavior and what isn't.

It's Something To Do And Have Fun With

Dogs love to play. It's a great way for them to get their energy out and have fun, which is why they are always up for it—even when you're not. They also like having something to do; dogs are very active beings and need something to occupy their minds. A stick can be that thing!

In other words, if you notice that your puppy usually picks up sticks when you're busy doing stuff around the house or outside in the yard, it probably means that your pooch wants something fun and challenging enough to keep him entertained while you work (and possibly even get some exercise).

Attention Seeking Behavior

Your dog wants you to throw the stick so they can bring it back and continue their game of fetch. Or maybe your dog wants to play with you—they want more than just throwing and catching, but also tugging on it and chewing on the end of it (although beware of letting them do this too much). Either way, when your dog brings you a stick for attention–and you don't give them what they want–they will simply move to another toy (or find something themselves).

It's A Way For Them To Communicate With You

When a dog picks up a stick, it's not just because they want to play fetch. Dogs carry sticks home because they are trying to communicate with you. Through body language and other forms of communication, dogs let us know that they want something from us when they pick up the stick. If your dog is carrying a stick around, don't assume that he wants to play fetch or tug of war! Instead, try asking him what he wants by saying, "Do you want me?" This will help you understand his intentions and make sure that whatever game he does want isn't too strenuous for him (or you).

They Carry Sticks To Show They're Happy To See You

Dogs carry sticks home most commonly because they're happy to see you.

When a dog sees you approaching them, they may drop what they're doing and run toward you with a stick in their mouth. This isn't just an act of love—it's also to show how excited your pup is to see you! It's like when children run up to their parents with arms full of presents on Christmas morning: it's hard not to feel loved by that kind of attention, even if the gifts aren't exactly what you were hoping for (you know how kids are).

So next time your dog brings home a stick, don't scold them—instead, accept this gesture as a sign of affection and enjoy the moment together!


So, the next time your dog carries a stick home, remember not to be alarmed. It's because it's instinctual and sometimes says, "I'm happy." Remember to reward the dog for doing this behavior, and don't try to take the stick away because they may get upset if this happens. Reward him with healthy treats instead of empty calories. A good choice is HUND's organic nutrient dense treats.  You can Purchase them by clicking the link