It’s frustrating when your dog sneaks food from other dogs’ bowls or steals their toys. This behavior can lead to fights and create stress at mealtimes. Luckily, there are some easy training techniques you can use to teach your puppy not to steal edibles or objects from their canine companions. With a bit of time and consistency, you can curb this bad habit.
Here are 5 simple ways to stop your dog from eating other dogs’ food:
Feed Dogs Separately
The easiest way to prevent food theft is to feed dogs in separate rooms. Close the door to each room or use baby gates to partition off areas. This removes the temptation by physically preventing access to other pets’ bowls. Feed dogs on opposite sides of the home so they are out of sight from one another.
Use Raised Bowls
Elevated bowls or stands prevent a dog from being able to reach into another bowl. The height makes it inconvenient to access a neighbor’s kibble. Bowls that attach to crates are another brilliant option for mealtimes.
Remove Food After Meals
Don’t leave food out 24/7. After your dog finishes eating, pick up the bowl and put any leftovers away. This eliminates the possibility of them scavenging for scraps later on. Develop a consistent feeding schedule so your dog knows when to expect meals.
Correct Unwanted Behavior
If you catch your pup stealing food, immediately and firmly say “no.” Lead them away from the food and have them sit until they are relaxed. Reward with praise and give them their kibble or toy to redirect the behavior. Be consistent with corrections so they associate stealing with a consequence.
Dogs with adequate physical and mental exercise are less likely to exhibit nuisance behaviors. Ensure your pup gets regular walks, playtime, and access to puzzle toys. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog. Meeting their enrichment needs leaves them content and less tempted to steal food.
Dog food theft is a common problem that can be resolved with simple training adjustments. You can prevent your pup from accessing other pets’ bowls by feeding and supervising mealtimes closely. Implement these tips consistently, and your dog will break the bad habit. With a few precautionary measures, you can be mealtime stress-free and steal-free.