Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Momma Chihuahua Buries Her Puppy

This chihuahua and her deceased puppy are being touted as examples of motherly love. 

Is momma chi paying respects to her dearly departed little one? Well, if that were true then…
  1. I am sad that my puppy has died.
  2. I believe the dead deserve respect.
  3. I'll show respect to poor lost puppykins by affording the little tyke a proper burial.

Likely? Observation says no. Mother dogs often eat their puppies that don't survive long after birth, sometimes when they're sick, and sometimes for seemingly no reason at all. Dogs don’t pay respects to the dead. Heck, my dog doesn’t even respect my desire not to be stared at while eating pizza.

Even if (1) and (2) were true, why would we think dogs would “respect” their dead by burying them? Do we see little doggie funerals, with little doggie pallbearers and bone-shaped wreaths? Nope.

The chihuahua is caching her puppy, not burying it. Caching means she is storing it for later. The video shows each phase of caching - first she carries the puppy around, looking for a good location, then she paws at the ground and drops the puppy there, then finally scoops and tamps the earth around it. This same pattern of behavior is observed in all canids. Cannibalism is also common in wolves. 

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