How to stop your dog from stealing your food

Published by , 23rd November 2016 in Dog Training

How to avoid a dog stealing food from the table

Stop-dog-eating-table-thanksgiving How to stop your dog from stealing your food Dog Training

Imagine this: You spent hours cooking everything for Thanksgiving and you just finished the turkey. You have everything in your kitchen and you are only waiting for people to sit down to have dinner together. Then, all of a sudden, your dog decides to grab a bite of the turkey. Can you imagine how frustrating this can be? Also, your furry friend could be eating food that is not good for her.

You may be thinking that dog stealing food is a hard problem to solve. Also, in the perfect world, our dogs should not be trying to steal our delicious food. But, if we think about this from our dog’s point of view, he just smelled something delicious and he doesn’t think twice!

Therefore, it is very important to follow these 4 tips to reduce the chances of this happening to you.

Watch this funny video and later you will learn the solution to avoid a dog stealing food

4 simple steps to stop a dog from eating food off the table

1) Clearly setting the boundaries for your dog

Here, I’m talking about not allowing your dog in the kitchen while you are cooking. You can have your dog totally free in the house. But you don’t want your best friend there because it is a small space and you are dealing with hot plates, cleaning products, etc. It is just like having a child near the hot oven.

2) Don’t feed your dog table scraps

This is extremely important: You are teaching your dog that getting food from the counter is wrong, but then, you throw him food or you frequently offer food to him when you are eating.

You know what is happening: You are sending mixed signals to your dog and confusing him.

Cesar Millan from the television show Dog Whisperer suggests creating a “treat area”, such as your dog’s rug or her bed. Therefore, he recommends that you give her a treat on her own plate on her own place.

But don’t give treats next to the dining table or kitchen because this could reinforce the behavior that you don’t want. Also, I’m sure you don’t want your dog begging for food to anyone having dinner (or people giving her any kind of food that could cause a problem later). My next article will be on ‘how to stop the begging behavior’.

3) Place something that makes unpleasant noise on the counter table

In the 2 steps above, you learned the importance of boundaries and how your own behavior is also important. But, even after doing that, your dog may still try to grab something one more time. Please don’t punish your dog for doing so, because this doesn’t work (please read my other blog post to understand my point of view). Rather, try doing this:

  1. Keep all the food as far as possible from your dog (a place he can’t reach out on the counter).
  2. Get some empty soda bottles or cans and fill with some coins.
  3. You know that the noise will scare your dog and he will understand quickly that he doesn’t belong in the kitchen.

4) Be consistent when housetraining a dog

As I mentioned before, you have to discipline yourself in order to discipline your best buddy. Therefore, you have to be consistent and follow everything described above.

Please don’t feel bad for not giving a few scraps to your dog. Always keep in mind that too many different types of food could also cause diarrhea on your dog (chapter 6 of my book talks about vomiting and the next chapter describes diarrhea).

Also, if you are not consistent, you can confuse your dog and this obedience problem will continue.

Conclusion on Dog Stealing Food

I really hope that everything described here works for you. If they fail, my only suggestion is to block the access to the kitchen and keep your dog in other rooms. But don’t forget the dining table! Your goal is to housetrain a dog and have fun in the process.

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See you and Happy Thanksgiving if you are in the US.