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Many dogs just can’t help themselves but to steal whatever human food they can find, it doesn’t matter that they have their own food and get fed regularly.
This might seem funny at first, but the problem with stealing food is that it isn’t just annoying for you, but it can be dangerous for your dog if they end up eating something that is bad for them.
So what can you do to stop your dog from kitchen counter surfing?
Teach Self Control
If your dog tries to steal food right in front of you they are lacking self control and the awareness of what is theirs and what is yours. Teach self-control by asking your dog to wait before you give them anything they want. Your dog should have to sit and stay before they get their bowl of kibble, before you throw the ball, before can you put on the leash to go for a walk, and before you do anything else that your dog wants to do.
Teach What’s Yours
Once your dog has developed the self-control to resist the urge to try to take any food they see, you can begin teaching them what food is theirs and what is yours. Place some tempting human food on the table or counter where your dogs has stolen it before and tell them a command like “not for you”.
If your dog makes a move to try to get the food, push them back and firmly say the command again. When you get to the point where your dog ignores the food on the table that’s when you should reward their behavior with treats.
Continue repeating this, ideally using a nanny cam to practice when you are outside of the room as well. When your dog is consistently ignoring food on the counter or table you can begin to feel some confidence that they have learned what is theirs and what is yours.