Dog Behavior Stealing Food From the Table

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Dog Behavior Stealing Food From the Table

by Nick Krueger

If you have ever left food sitting on the table and had to leave for a while, then you may have caught your dog stealing food. Hitting your dog will only increase the problem. Instead, a stern "No!" may go a long way. You should then plan on future training so that this problem can be remedied.

Training an animal to leave food alone when it is not theirs will begin by the way that you feed your animal. Do you give your dog table scraps? Do you get the ?big brown eyes? routine with him sitting right next to you while you are eating? Is the stare accompanied by a whine or bark? By giving in to these temptations, you will be encouraging this behavior from him.

Dogs should be taught that human food is not theirs and should be left alone. Animals are instinctively curious and your dog will be very interested in what you are doing. Bigger dogs have the advantage because they can see the table and will know that there is something tasty just a few feet away. Littler dogs have a disadvantage since they might have to prop themselves up on their hind legs or jump on a chair or other object in order to reach what they are after. Worst case scenario is dogs that dig through the trash in search of human food. House dogs have no excuse to dig through the trash. This kind of behavior has probably been caused by owners giving dogs a treat from the table.

When dealing with dogs that beg from the table, immediate training is in order. The best method is to catch him in the act. Reprimanding him at the moment of disobedience is crucial for the learning process to fulfill itself. If you belatedly punish your dog, he will not know what it was that he did wrong. Dogs know that food stealing is wrong and if you can catch him, he can be persuaded to not repeat the mistake. There are also many training courses and products online that can help with the procedure.

Nick Krueger is a review specialist at For more information on dog behavior and product reviews, please visit:

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