Science Explaining Dogs' Obsession with Sticks

Dogs inherited interest in sticks from wolf ancestors who used fallen branches to build dens for shelter and raising young.  

Ancestral Interest

Chewing on sticks may relate to dogs retaining some of their wild ancestors' need to shred meat from bones for food.

Chew Urge

Sticks allow dogs to sniff intriguing nature scents from sap, fungus, leftover prey smells that appeal to their keen nose.

Scent Detection

Various wood tastes along with minerals from soil could explain dogs sampling sticks out of sensory curiosity.

Taste Test

Carrying branches taps into dogs' innate fetch drive and makes for a convenient take-along toy during walks.

Fetch Fun 

After hunting or herding sessions, dogs were traditionally allowed to playfully gnaw sticks as a job well done reward.  

Work Reward

Some experts theorize dogs just intuitively gravitate to wood out of ancestral memory we don't fully understand.

Natural Draw   

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