Lengths Dogs Go to Steal Food

Our dining tables or kitchen counters are not a big deal for humans. But for our four-pawed best friends, it is a holy grail, basically a mine of gold! The food there looks like a treat to the eyes with captivating aromas and unforgettable flavors, making it almost impossible for our dogs to resist and eventually become serial thieves. 

Do you remember that leftover cake or a pizza slice that you had forgotten to clear from your table? And the piece of muffin you were just about to have, but it disappeared within seconds because you went to the door first to check who was there? Where did it go? Who took it? The only answer is, when it comes to food, your pet dogs will go to any lengths to steal just one bite or the whole food for themselves. Even if you do not appreciate it, you should admit that sometimes your pet would go above and beyond to get their part of the food. This article is a humble farewell to all the food that your pet dogs have stolen. 

Before telling you how to stop your dogs from stealing food from the table, kitchen counters, or anywhere, read below a few funny stories of dogs stealing bread, cakes, and much more. See if you can relate these stories to your pet’s behavior.

The Bagel Thief!

We all know that dalmatian dogs are the smartest of all. A friend narrated that one day around midnight when she went to have a glass of water, she was surprised to see what her Dalmatian dog could do. The dog took it to the next level, as it was standing on two legs while pulling the breadbasket from its front paws from the kitchen counter. She was lucky enough to shoot a video of her pet quietly while the dog just made the pulling of the basket and having a piece of bagel, an easy-breezy act.

The One Sassy Dog!

The worst thing possible while buying groceries is to wait for so long at the counter queue. However, this rule doesn’t apply if you are not a human but a dog. Someone’s pet dog was seen running towards a grocery store, and nobody could wonder why unless they realized that the dog was just hungry for a snack. Being a very logical creature, the dog just went right inside the store, grabbed its favorite bag of chips, and strutted out. Impressive.

If I see it, I will take it!

No one can control it when hunger strikes. The neighbor’s pet dog decided he wanted a chicken sandwich right then, so he took it. How he does that is the best part here. Being a short-height Maltese, the owner was sure that his dog could not reach the kitchen slab at all. What he saw was that smarty-pants actually pushed the mini stool to get at the top of the slab and picked up the sandwich conveniently. Ironically, it then sat only a few feet away from its owner and proceeded towards eating his steal. Amazed by the “You are in no way getting this sandwich back” look on the dog’s face. 

Give it to me right now. No regrets!

Toddlers and children are easy victims. According to a story online, people saw someone’s pet golden retriever taking responsibility to teach a kid a vital life lesson. And that was, if you don’t protect your valuables, someone will steal them off. The kid was seen busy playing when this dog thief saw an opportunity to sneak into his lunch box and take that slice of cake away very conveniently. No regrets at all! 

Why do dogs steal food?

Are these stories relatable enough? Like us, animals also find it challenging to resist deliciously smelling food. It just takes your pet one time to pull the food from the tabletop and reward itself. He learns to patrol kitchen counters and tables heavily to find a single bite of food.

Whenever a dog steals food, it takes it as a reward, which eventually strengthens this behavior and becomes a habit. It is just like someone finds a 100 dollar note under the tree every day and keeps going back again and again to see more money.

How to prevent your dog from stealing?

Keep the food away.

You would now know not to keep your food on the kitchen tops or tables from the abovementioned stories. This could keep away your dog’s habit of stealing food to some extent. Get your other family members involved and put snacks, bread, and other edibles in cabinets. Do not forget to remove the food ingredients after cooking. 

Snap your dog out of it.

Try diverting your dog’s attention somewhere else. Here’s what you can do. Bring a plate of food near your dog. You would most likely see it being super excited and drooling or even jumping around. Ask the dog to “sit or stay.” Put the plate down a few inches away from your pet. The dog would still be excited, but as soon as he reaches the food, make some kind of sharp sound or literally, just snap your fingers. This would help to calm your dog’s excited state. Repeat this a few times a day until you find your dog no more excited to see people’s food. That is your ultimate goal!

Reward your dog.

During cooking, when the food items are scattered on the counter, watch your dog quietly. Keep your dog away from sniffing or snatching food by not putting the food at the corners of the counter. If you find your dog sniffing on the food, immediately call its name out and ask to “lie down.” This requires a little training, but reward him with his favorite snack as a treat when your dog finally obeys. Your dog would gradually learn that obeying you and staying away from food on the counters would eventually lead him to his favorite food and stop stealing. 

Fence the kitchen.

You need to fence the kitchen with a small gate for serial thieves or dogs with a stubborn habit of stealing for long. The barrier would prevent your dog from entering the kitchen. It would be unable to patrol at night or when people are not around.

Buy a dog crate.

Keeping your dogs in crates when away is also a great idea. This would help train them not to climb on chairs or other furniture to reach the fruit bowls or bags of chips in high locations.

Refrain from punishing your pet dogs.

You need to stop right now if you are punishing your pet for stealing food and running away with it. Screaming or punishing your dog does not help but make things much worse. You are teaching your dog to become stubborn this way. Often, pet owners are suggested to train their dogs not to steal by punishing or screaming at them when it comes near the food. This does not help but create another sneaky and stubborn food thief. 

Here is what happens. If you would continuously punish your dog for stealing, it would stop doing that in front of you, but not behind your back. The dog would continue snacking up on the food when nobody was around. This means that everyone would remain clueless because they never saw who stole the food. You do not want that, do you? 

Take it this way, if you are driving somewhere and the cops stop you at a specific bridge because you were overspeeding, fining you with a ticket. The next time you go, you would learn to drive slow everywhere or just not take that route because you know there are cops on the bridge. The same is the case with animals. Either they learn to keep away from food or do it when no one is around from the fear of getting punished.

Punishing or screaming is never a solution but preventing your pet’s behavior and stealing habits is the key!

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