Dogs are not uncommon to beg at the table or even steal from the countertop in front of their owners. One such phrase is “counter-surfing,” developed by dog trainers to characterize this kind of action. These canines can sniff out what they can take off your counter or elsewhere. Successful food theft by a dog teaches the creature that its thieving efforts are rewarded and hence encourages more stealing attempts. As a result, this might amplify the difficulty of discontinuing the habit. Dogs that counter surf may be entertaining to their owners, but it is highly risky behavior for them to engage in. The onus is on dog owners to educate themselves on preventative measures and find ways to prevent their canine companions from stealing food. If you are still worrying, experts at Puppy training Fort Myers at H.K. Dog Training can assist you to train your dog for appropriate behavior.
What Motivates Your Dog To Steal Food?
Primarily, most dogs have a hardwired tendency towards scavenging and food stealing. Their forebears were pack animals that raided human settlements for scraps. And dogs perceive this as a rewarding reinforcement for continuing the practice. Dogs that “counter surf” have learned that human food is conveniently located on tables and counters. And because canines are eternal optimists and seize every available opportunity, they’ll keep climbing up there in search of scraps.
Putting food out in the open or not preventing your dog from getting on the kitchen counter might stimulate your dog to steal food. When bored, a dog may resort to stealing food or engaging in other odd behavior too. Some dogs, when abandoned for lengthy periods, can turn to steal food or socks to get their owner’s attention.
Here are some ways to prevent your sneaky dog from stealing food:
You must not leave food out on the table and instead, keep it in the fridge or a locked cabinet. Additionally, don’t forget to clean up after preparing meals. Changing your routine, such as putting away uneaten food and clearing the table after meals, may be necessary if you just got a dog for the first time. Put food farther away from the corner of the countertop if you have to keep it there so your dog can’t get to it. Otherwise, you may crate your dog or use a baby gate to restrict it from entering your kitchen.
Feed Your Dog From Their Dish Alone
Always give your dog a dish to eat from. You may find it endearing when a dog begs for crumbs. But this is exactly the kind of thing you shouldn’t permit. Do not let your dog eat from the table. Put some food in your dog’s dish if you’re interested in sharing.
Never Feed A Begging Dog
It’s normal for our dogs to beg at the table or counter when we’re having a meal. When it comes to manipulation, they have always excelled. Dogs often approach people at tables, looking pitiful, which makes us want to provide for them in every way. However, be aware that doing so could only encourage them to return more frequently. Need not pity your dog for begging. Keep in mind that it is adequately fed and not at risk of starving anyway.
Introduce “Leave It”
Another way to stop your dog from stealing food is to demonstrate and introduce them to the “leave it” command, which means “ignore”. Start introducing your foodstuff as the item to be ignored provided your dog is performing well and has learned to leave things alone. Try it out with a variety of food items and environments. Don’t hesitate to contact a local trainer for assistance if you haven’t already done so.
Train Your Dog Regularly
Adding plenty of exercise and mental challenges each day is a great method to discourage counter-surfing in canines. Playing fetch, going for long walks, and training are all excellent methods for this. Dogs may be quite bored at times, and that might lead to them stealing food. Remember that maintaining your dog occupied might aid in the battle against undesirable behaviors like food theft and counter-surfing.
Whenever a dog takes food without permission, everyone around generally starts screaming out of surprise. It’s important to remember that punishing one’s dog won’t teach them not to steal food, but may even make them more determined to repeat similar behavior in the future. The most important thing is to prevent a behavior from occurring. Through consistent, positive reinforcement training, you may teach your dog that it is better to obey you for a reward than to sneak on your food.