Why does my dog keep putting bowls on the dog bed?

I don’t actually expect there to be an explanation for this, but maybe there is one.

I have two dogs, and one of them adopted a new ritual a few weeks ago. After the dogs eat dinner, Dog A picks up Dog B’s food bowl and places it in Dog B’s bed. Once her job is done, she walks away. Eventually, I come along and move the bowl, so that Dog B can use his bed. Dog A doesn’t seem to mind this and doesn’t try to put it back. The next day we repeat the process all over again.

Any ideas, or is she just weird?

Dog A to dog B: “Watch this. I can make her do it every time.”

Dog A: “Here, take your damn bowl and bed and run away.”

Dog A is training you to do tricks. It seems to be working.

What’s going through her doggie mind:

And then later:

I think I’ve been married too long.

That is weird. She never moves her own bowl? How long have the two dogs been living together?

Yes, she’s trained me well. In seriousness, I think that enough time passes between her moving the bowl and me putting it back where I think it belongs, that she doesn’t see a connection between the two.

She likes to pick up her own bowl and drop it, to make a clanging sound, sometimes, presumably as a signal that she wants to eat, but she only relocates the other dog’s bowl. They’ve been living together for years. Dog A was the new edition, and she probably doesn’t remember a life without Dog B in it.

“Dog A” and “Dog B”? I hope your wife names(ed) the kids…

Probably waiting for the appropriate “Dog E”?

I wonder if the food bowl is supposed to cover some perceived smell in the dog bed. Some dogs have an atavistic desire to cover scents that will give them away (thus the rolling in #$&#*& instinct many dogs have).

Like the Mexican firefighter, who named one son “Hose A” and the other “Hose B”…

Do you feed them together? Maybe A doesn’t like eating next to B. She thinks that if she moves her bowl, then she won’t eat next to her anymore. Or maybe she’s trying to impose her alpha status over B by trying to control B’s ability to eat. Try feeding A in a different place and see if that helps. Does A show any aggression or protectiveness over her food when she’s eating?

A holdover from the time when their names were all of my passwords.

They eat in the same room about ten feet apart. She doesn’t bother his bowl until after he’s finished, and she doesn’t have any food related dominance issues.

Hmm, it just hit me that Dog B went on a new medicated food in September. I wonder if his scent is off, and all of this is connected.

I have a friend who used to feed one of her two dogs in a regular dog dish and the other one in a saucepan with a handle. Saucepan Dog would pick up her “bowl” by the handle and carry it all around the house. After the other dog had eaten all of his food from the regular bowl, Saucepan Dog would sit with her paws making a protective bunker around the saucepan and eat slowly while staring at her doggie roommate. I can’t say for a fact whether she was sneering, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

I am curious to know what would happen if you did not move the bowl back. Would B move the bowl or sleep around it?

He curls up around it. He’s on the smaller side, so he might take a lot of effort for him to move the bowl if he wanted to.

Is Dog A a herding dog?

Dog B associates the bowl with getting food. I would guess that she’s connecting Dog B and Dog B’s Bed and Dog B’s bowl as all connected parts of the entity DOG B. I would guess that in putting Dog B’s Bowl in Dog B’s Bed, in her mind, I would guess that’s the same as giving Dog B food. So in her mind, putting bowl in the bed is the same as putting the bowl right next to the dog.

I would guess that either she’s trying to prompt you to feed Dog B appropriate food (which in her mind, is the old food that she’s used to, not the new medicated stuff) or she’s got a latent herding urge in her mind and keeping all of Dog B’s stuff in one spot makes it easier for her to guard it.

But I would guess the first - she’s trying to prompt you to put the right stuff in Dog B’s bowl, and she’s putting the bowl in the bed as a way to try and communicate - “Feed Dog B!”

Canines feed each other. They bring food to sick and younger members of their families. Dog B is not getting what Dog A recognizes as Food. I’d guess that she’s trying to tell the Human family members that Dog B needs Real Food. If they were living wild, she’d kill something and vomit it up for Dog B. But in her pack, you are the Food Source and if she drops a bowl, you’ll make Food appear.

I don’t think so. She’s a mix, but she doesn’t have any herding tendencies.

Your theory makes sense.