Dogs are known to love their daily walks. It's the best time for our beloved pets to spread their legs, exhaust their energy, and learn to socialize with other humans and dogs alike. If you've ever taken your dog to a lengthy walk, you've probably noticed their unwavering sentiment towards sticks.

A common dog activity that many owners relate to is their pet's carrying sticks, often too big for their size, back home from a walk around the neighborhood or a breezy hike through the woods.

It's often an adorable sight to behold, and according to a statement by Dr. Antoinette Martin, the head veterinarian at Hello Ralphi, a telehealth consulting company, to Southern Living, dogs are born naturally curious where the typical walk around the neighborhood can often abundant sights, smells, and sounds that peak its interest.

Dog's Favorite Natural Toy

Dog Carrying Stick
(Photo: Jozef Fehér from Pexels)

Dr. Martin explains that sticks are one of dog's favorite natural dog toys. It comes in varying shapes and sizes. No matter the size of your pooch, they can search for a stick that soothes their preferences.

As a matter of fact, your dog may actually seek out sticks of the same size and shape on every trip outside where they are typically drawn to the size of the stick, whether it's a scrawny branch, a gigantic twig, or somewhere in between. What matters is that the stick sits comfortably in its mouth in terms of diameter, length, and weight.

Golden retrievers, for example, often bring sticks and toys to their owners. According to National Geographic, this behavior has been bred to the dog's temperament stemming from wolves in the wild. The ability of the dog to control the pressure in their mouth as not to get injured by their favorite stick shows that it is something dogs were naturally born to do.

Dr. Martin adds that there are dogs who thrive on the challenge of dragging big sticks back to their den.

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Where Did the Habit Come From?

Unfortunately, no one is sure where the dog's fondness for foraging sticks originated. Although there are a number of theories that offer some glimpse into the mysterious and adorable habit of a man's best friend.

Some speculate that the habit stems from the dog's 'retriever'-based instincts that they have not outgrown from their hunting days. The behavior has been bred in countless generations, which practically makes it instinctive to our four-legged best friends and embedded in their DNA, says Doggysaurus.

Others believe that the fondness is due to the shape and size of the stick that reminds pups of different ages of bones that they so fondly love. The spongy wooden texture of the stick is also perfect for dogs to sink their teeth into and gnaw at as play or pastime. At the same time, foraging for sticks may be due to their availability in your area or can feel like a reward for the dog after conquering their mighty walk.

Whatever the reason may be, Dr. Martin advises that it's okay to let your pups bring sticks in since it makes their tails wag. However, when it comes to chewing, the brittleness of the stick poses threats to your dog's oral health, especially with splinters that can easily break into pieces.

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