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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm at my wit's end with this dog. He's such a opportunist, he'll steal any scrap of food not nailed down. The grown-ups of the house are well "trained" and don't leave anything out, but we have two young kids who are trying their best, but still flub up. The dog is eating a premium kibble and we practice NILIF. The dog knows his place and can be reprimanded with a look. Having him leashed at all times makes him neurotic and increases his mild (at this time) separation anxiety. He's just plain sneaky, and will compulsively steal if he thinks no one is looking.

Is there anything I can do short of a shock collar?
 

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Mouse traps?

I just bought some because of some issues I'm having with my own dogs, but haven't set them yet. (I probably shouldn't admit it but I'm stalling because I don't want to hurt the poor babies.)

Janis
 

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I'm putting in some new counter tops (just cheapies, but better than the PINK ones I have currently!) in a couple of weeks. I'm going to attach "invisible" fence wire to the bottom of the counter top so that when the dogs get their heads up over the counter, they get corrected (I also have an outdoor invisible fence so they already wear the collars). I know you don't want to shock the dog, but there are invisible fences that don't shock, but use citronella spray instead. I'm keen on this fence idea because I don't have to be there to correct the dog or to reset the booby trap, etc.

I don't know how to train the dog not to steal things from other areas like the coffee table though (obviously since I still need to work on the counter surfing with my own dog!).
 

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hmmm - I too have one of these - I have always made som eexcuses for her as she was a stray and I reckon that at some point she was probably genuinely hungry.

One trick I have used on other dogs in teh past was mustard sandwiches left out for them - however even those didn't work for Flash.

Just now she has upped the ante, and has started ripping open parcels from under the Christmas tree as she has figured out that some have chocs in them :(

Good luck - I hav enever had one before that I didn't manage to persuade not to steal - but this one's a toughy

hoggie
 

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We never, ever leave one scrap of food on the counters when we're not in the kitchen.

Be certain that the animal is not hungry.

One thing that worked for us with the cats are drop cans. We emptied and rinsed a lot of soda cans and left them dry. Then we put a few pennies in each one and taped the hole shut. We lined them up on the countertop close together. When an animal knocks it to the floor, it makes a big clanking noise and scares them.

Admittedly, it's a lot of work but humane.
 

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Not sure that this will work with dogs but I am going to try it with my cats. Yesterday, I bought a section of vinyl carpet runner, the plastic stuff you put down over carpets to protect them. I laid it, bottom up, last night on the counter. I'm hoping that this will stop my cats relentless counter crawling.
 

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We keep a squirt bottle handy and if we see anyone trying to counter surf we squirt them right away. They hate it!

We have one rescue boy (dog) who is on steroids and he is almost impossible. We finally started crating him when we are not in the house. We got tired of coming in to find the trash can emptied all over the house 2 or 3 times a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually, the invisible fence line sounds like a really good idea! I don't really have anything against shocking him (he is FAR from my baby), I just don't trust myself to hold the shocker, IYKWIM. We were planning on getting the fence system anyway, so this sounds like 2 birds+1 stone. (BTW, my awful counters are pink, too, small world!)

He is not hungry, or I should say hunger doesn't have anything to do with it, he's simply insatiable - a bottomless pit. He'd be a blimp if it were up to him. This is actually my second dog like this, I'm cursing my luck. I promised after the last dog I wouldn't put up with this nonsense, and here we are all over again. I'm actually not trying a lot of the "tricks" with this one because I tried them all last time to no avail and recognize the same drive. Any scrap of food is entirely too much temptation no matter how many loud noises or verbal corrections or mustard sandwiches are made. The only thing that completely stops it is having all food totally out of reach, which with the kids is just not happening. My last dog ate chocolate from under the tree, too ;) Neither were ever strays, or ever went hungry so that theory doesn't fly. I don't expect to be able to leave a steak on the floor, but I think toast crusts on the table should be left unmolested, YK?
 

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I'm pretty excited about the whole inside invisible thing thing! Not only am I going to do the counters, but I'm going to run a loop under the flooring in our office so the cats can have their own room. Just so happens that I thought of doing this while we're in the middle of a bunch of remodeling-normally I would think of something like this AFTER we've finished.

One thing about the inside fence though. I'm going to have a separate transmitter (same brand as the outside fence so the collars work for both) for in the house so that I can adjust the field size to suit the individual applications better. I might even use separate transmitters for the counters and the cat room.
 

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A dog that has been hungry, such as a stray, often has this kind of food issue and cannot be trained out of it. I have one now and bought a kitchen trash can with a cover and foot pedal because of him. I've notice, however, that Beagles who have never been hungry a day in their lives have the same insatiable appetite, so I think it can be a hard wired problem.

The only way, in my experience, to keep a dog from swiping food, is to work with it as a puppy, the first day it is in your house. Your dog has already been trained to take food off of counters and tables in that he has always been rewarded for the practice. Think about this, your children are being constantly punished for leaving food out (dog steals food), yet they still do it. Presumably, your kids are a lot smarter than your dog, who has been repeatedly rewarded for stealing the kids food (gets food). Short of an electric shock, as Golden Mom will do for her kitchen counter, I don't think there is anything you can do to really train the dog not to take unattended food. You can teach him "leave it", but that only works if you are there to give the command.

You can keep the dog in a separate room and only let him with the family when all of the food is cleared away.
 

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Mine keeps stealing my knives. Out of the sink, off the counter, hasn't gotten into the drawer yet but I am sure she will figure that out :). The food I can understand but leave my favorite paring knife alone, please! The handle looks terrible from her teeth. I am saving cans up but I don't think that is going to work with her as she is a very determined young lady. Good luck with yours!
 
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