Tinkerbell daintily takes a piece of her food from the bowl and walks it out to the front hall carpet, only to drop it, inspect and then finally eat it. One piece of kibble at a time. Why, why, why?
Surprisingly, more dogs do this than you might think. It’s the pack mentality of dogs, that signals “the rest of the pack might want that food, so I better take it away to eat in peace.”
It’s behaviour that harkens back to the domestic dog’s wolfish ancestry. In fact, the closest living relative of the dog is the gray wolf. Although not all scientists agree just how closely dogs are related to wolves, everyone agrees, both are very much pack animals. Both form social packs, with clear leaders and followers.
Believe it or not, Morkies are very closely related to the wolf; in fact they are part of the same species. That’s where they get some of their “odd” habits, like removing food from the dish and taking it somewhere else to eat.
In the pack, fighting is dangerous, so who wolves who weren’t the alpha dogs, would drag off bits of the kill to eat on their own. And your little Morkie IS a wolf at heart, believe it or not.
A dog that does this is not only acting according instinctually, but he might be saying, “I need more privacy.” On the other hand, if your Morkie is eating in the kitchen and everyone’s in the family room, he might prefer to carry his meal in to eat with you because he’s lonely.
The small dog’s preferred path to eating well
Another reason to walk off with food?
Many of us feed our dogs in metal bowls. Sometimes the sound of hard food bouncing around in the bowl can be frightening – or your dog’s tags might be jangling against the bowl, causing disturbing noise.
One of our other dogs used to take a piece of food, walk a short distance from the bowl, then toss it up in the air. Then he’d land on that morsel like it was a live mouse.
Nothing to Worry About
Jill Layton, writing for The Dodo, advises, “as long as your dog’s behavior is not aggressive or causing any harm, simply embrace this as part of her personality.”
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Besides Morkies, there are a number of dog breeds that are billed as non-shedding including the President’s dog “Bo,” a Portuguese Water Dog. But is the non-shedding dog fact or fiction?
Fiction: all dogs and cats shed. We do too! Shedding is part of the natural process of hair growth – each hair starts from a follicle, which grows, dies and is then replaced by another follicle. When the follicle dies, the hair drops or “moults.” The length of time of the growing and shedding cycle is different by breed, age of the dog and whether he lives inside or outside. However all dogs do shed – although some breeds shed significantly less than others.
To say that these “non-shedding” or low-shedding breeds are hypo-allergenic is another myth since hair or fur isn’t the only trigger for allergies. People can also be allergic to the dog’s dander, saliva and even its urine!
Havanese are double-coated, non shedding dogs.
Yorkies are single coated, non shedding dogs.
That said, there are breeds that are easier on allergies and housework. These include both single-coated (“hair”) and double-coated (“fur”) breeds.
There are single coated dogs — one coat of hair that’s more like ours – that shed and those that don’t shed.
Then there are double-coated dogs – larger, coarse guard hairs over soft fluffly undercoat – that do NOT shed.
Here’s a quick run down of the low-shedding or hypoallergenic breeds in both categories.
Single-coated, low-shedding dog breeds
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Coton De Tulear
- Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Portuguese Water Dog
Double-coated low-shedding dog breeds
- Shih Tzu
- Lhasa Apso
- Bichon Frise
- West Highland White Terrier
So that means the MORKIE is a very ‘low shedding’ or no-shedding dog, since both the Maltese and Yorkie are.
There’s always the hairless dog!
The Chinese Crested is mostly hairless.
These exotic breeds have very little or no hair at all. In fact just its feet, head and tail have hair. That means they’re always clean and don’t attract fleas. However they can be fragile to care for, since fur is natural protection against the environment.
The best-known hairless breed is probably the Hairless Chinese Crested, an odd little dog with a single tuft of hair on its head.
There’s another version of Chinese Crested called the Powderpuff. It has a full coat of hair, along with the crest on its head. Both are recognized by Kennel Clubs.
And, the BEST low-shedding dog….
Next: best combs and brushes for your Morkie