How to Stop Your Dog from Stealing Food
It can be a real nuisance when your dog snatches food off a countertop or out of someone’s hand – especially when we’re trying to teach our pup not to do it! Fortunately, there’s plenty of ways you can help correct this behaviour and keep your dog from stealing food. Here are some tips to help you out:
1. Give Your Dog Alternatives
One of the first things to do in preventing your dog from stealing food is to provide them with an alternate source of nutrition. We can start by making sure that there’s always fresh water available for your pup, as some dogs will try and scavenge for food if they’re feeling thirsty. Additionally, try giving your dog a frozen Kong toy filled with food, or an edible puzzle toy that makes your pup work for their treats. This can act as an effective distraction from stealing food.
2. Exercise Regularly
Another powerful way to prevent your pup from taking food is by exercising them regularly. Dogs that don’t have a proper outlet to discharge their energy are more likely to engage in naughty behaviour, which can include stealing food. Invest in a few puzzles or interactive toys that your dog can work through, join a doggy playgroup, or even just take your pup for a walk every day – this will keep them busy and active and prevent them from looking for food elsewhere.
3. Reward Good Behaviour
Rewarding your pup for good behaviour is the best way to reinforce positive actions and hopefully help them to build up a dislike for stealing food. Whenever your dog is tempted to grab some snacks, redirect their attention and reward them for leaving the food alone – this will also help them to better understand that stealing food is not tolerated.
4. Publicly Remind Your Dog About The Rules
If your pup is stubborn and keeps taking food, one way to help remind them about the rules is to yell “leave it” or “no” in order to startle your pup and prevent them from stealing food. Make sure to only do this in public places such as restaurants, so that they learn that this behaviour is unacceptable outside the home.
5. Seek Professional Advice
Although these tips can help in curbing your pup’s desire to steal food, it’s always a good idea to seek the help of a professional if you’re unable to manage your pup’s behaviour. A professional can help you to understand your pup’s behaviour and provide you with the tips and tools to effectively remedy their stealing habits.
Remember, with a bit of patience and perseverance you can help to stop your pup from stealing food. Most importantly, always make sure that you’re providing your pup with the mental and physical stimulation they need in order to stay distracted from any snacks that cross their path!