Dogs are known to be man’s best friend, but are dogs den animals? While all animals have their own unique behaviors and habits, there is something special about the way that our beloved canine companions choose to inhabit their dens.
Dogs are undeniably drawn to the security of having an enclosed space that they can call their own.
Read on to learn more about why dogs might be considered as den animals.
What is meant by a den animal?
A den animal is any creature that inhabits a safe, secure and preferably hidden space to use as a home.
The most common examples of den animals are rodents such as rats, mice, hamsters, squirrels and guinea pigs.
Other species that may be considered den animals include skunks, badgers, foxes, coyotes and raccoons.
Are dogs den animals?
While some might argue that dogs are den animals, they are actually not. Dogs have a natural instinct to seek out security and safety. Which is why they may gravitate towards dens-like areas such as closets or under beds.
However, unlike rodents and other den animals, these enclosed spaces offer more than just shelter. It’s also a place of comfort and belonging for our four-legged friends.
The most telling sign that dogs are not true den animals is their desire for companionship. Unlike most other species who prefer solitude, the majority of canine breeds love human interaction.
This social behavior is drastically different from the kind found in den animals like mice or squirrels who are more content with being alone.
Furthermore, unlike den animals, dogs are very active and enjoy regular exercise. They need to be taken on walks, or taken for a run every day to remain healthy and happy.
This activity level also demonstrates that they prefer wide open spaces rather than the confinement of an enclosed area.
Is a crate like a den?
While crates can be used for denning purposes, dogs are not necessarily den animals in the same way other species such as foxes or wolves are.
Dens have been long connected with maternal instincts. Providing safety and comfort to young pups while still being close enough for mothers to feed them.
While domesticated dogs may share maternal instincts with their wild counterparts, they don’t actually exhibit the behavior of denning.
This means that crates should not be expected to act as dens for puppies when it comes to emotional security. Only physical protection from potential predators or hazards.
However, many pet owners choose to use crates as a form of denning for their dogs, with some even going so far as to furnish them like dens.
This may make the crate more inviting, providing a sense of safety and comfort for the puppy or adult dog using it. As long as the crate is not used for punishing or isolating purposes, this practice can be beneficial for both owner and pup.
Ultimately, while crates can provide a feeling of denning security to some puppies and adults alike, they are not actually denning in the same way that wild animals use them.
Crates should be used as an aid to help keep puppies safe rather than expecting them to fulfill any sort of maternal instinctive behavior.
A crate can provide a sense of comfort and protection to any pet.
Therefore, it can be concluded that dogs are not den animals. They may seek the security and comfort of enclosed spaces when given the opportunity. But ultimately they thrive in open areas with lots of human interaction and activity.
Ultimately, this is what makes our canine companions so special and why we love them so much! Now that you know more about whether or not dogs are den animals, go out and enjoy some time with your furry friend!