You might think that a dog stealing food is just a bit naughty, but it could actually be a serious problem, imagine this situation:
It’s Thanksgiving, the whole family is just about to eat a gorgeous-looking and delicious turkey, the kids are excited, your grandpa is finally cheerful enough not to be grumpy, your annoying aunt is sitting very far from you, which makes you very joyful, looks like that finally a family dinner will be decent! But…
Your Siberian Husky jumps on the table and gets his face into your dad’s plate, eating his salad and some sausages then rushes into the main dish, ohh yeah, you know it. The dog, whose fur is white and grayish steals the whole Turkey and just runs away from everybody.
The kids are laughing out loud, now your grandpa is getting so mad that he could die from a stroke right there while your dad yells at the dog and tries to chase it with an ATV in the backyard, the rest of the family literally goes insane and starts making a real mess in the house.
And all because they saw a dog stealing food; your doggo.
Does this sound familiar to you? Probably not, but you may have a naughty dog who cannot resist the temptation of stealing food, and that’s what I’ll tell you how to solve.
Why Do Dogs Steal Food?
You never know when you’ll eat again, so eat all you can when you have the chance. At least that’s how it was in ancient times, this is written in most animal genes, like lions, wolves and yep, dogs.
However, if you feed your dog daily ―Idk, I think it’s a good idea―, he shouldn’t feel the need to do this, but there’s one thing called instinct and if some dogs aren’t properly trained then it’ll take over and make them do things to satisfy that instinct.
Then they’ll take away your pizza crusts from last night, even if they’re cold, it smells good for them, that’s a typical scene of a dog stealing food.
The act of scavenging is deeply ingrained within a dog’s behavior, always search for food to satisfy your hunger, so don’t worry if you catch your dog’s head inside of your trash can, that is actually pretty common.
So when a dog finds food he gets in a state of high excitement, which could lead to dominance or disobedience, and that’s neither good for you nor for your dog.
Dog Stealing Food: 3 Tips To Solve It
Dogs are also very curious animals, that’s the (most) serious part about this issue since they could steal something harmful for them, so let’s see some ways to stop your dog from stealing food:
#1 – Teach him to leave it.
This is just a must-do with your dog. The command would be “Leave it” or something similar that you prefer, the point is, teaching dogs to leave things takes some time since their instinct is telling them “take it, take it and eat it”, at the same time we’re giving them an order.
Enough treats will make it possible. By the way, you know what’s a must-do with your dog too? Teaching him/her to fetch.
#2 – Make sure there’s no food for him to steal
If there’s no food, can he steal it? The answer is YES, dogs can smell each ingredient in a stew and you think they won’t be able to find your food?
Just keep it out of his reach, your dog might know that there’s food nearby, but he can’t take it so better do something more interesting, don’t you think?
Make sure your counter is very clean and there aren’t leftovers on it, this way your kitchen will also look great! Seriously, if your dog never smells food at his reach, he’ll lose interesting in stealing it.
#3 – Getting food without your permission isn’t really cool
You may want him to understand that infiltrating the kitchen and sneakily taking some food that you didn’t authorize him to eat doesn’t feel very good, but not through a punishment.
How do we do this? Simple, put a delicious plate of fresh beef just three steps away from him, then if he tries to eat it, immediately order him to sit down
Don’t let your doggo move for a while, then reward him with some other beef that you saved especially for this occasion, then move the plate one step further…And repeat the process, this is a way to gradually teach dogs that the only rewarding food is the one we feed them.
There’s no dog stealing food if he knows that the only tasty meals are the ones granted by you.
Remember that the pain is not the way, if you want to influence an animal’s behavior, it’s always better to do it by the pleasure. Nobody wants to suffer but to satisfy needs and feel pleasure.
What We Learned Today
- A Dog Stealing food and scavenging isn’t strange, that’s actually in their genes.
- You can teach your dog not to eat anything that you didn’t personally give him, but it’s always good to keep your kitchen clean.
- Never punish, try rewarding instead.