Dog eats food from the table

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Dog eats food from the table

This is a discussion on Dog eats food from the table within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello everybody. Our dog is Alaksan Malamute Polja and she like to eat food from the table. We started to close our kitchen leaving home, ...

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Old 09-03-2017, 02:29 AM
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Exclamation Dog eats food from the table

Hello everybody. Our dog is Alaksan Malamute Polja and she like to eat food from the table. We started to close our kitchen leaving home, but sometimes we forget to do it. We put a camera on the kitchen to see how does it happened. Result is here:

But actually it is very sad. How to teach her not to do it? I will be very thankful for help.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:03 AM
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It's much easier to teach humans to be more responsible and not leave food out in the first place which is a health hazard, than it is to teach a dog that food left out when unattended should be left alone. This is not a dog training issue, it's a people training issue. Teach your human family to be more responsible, And your dog won't have to fight his nature.

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Old 09-03-2017, 09:14 AM
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Arrow Definitely a PEOPLE-training problem, the dog is not to blame.

'Nuff said.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:20 AM
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I leave food out all the time , butter for one, it rarely goes in the fridge because it becomes too hard to spread easily. Also, sometimes, I'll leave a small home baked loaf of bread out, or a bag of potato chips, etc. There are other times, when I bring in groceries, I have to make several trips, and put food on the table that cannot be put away immediately because I have other food sitting in a hot car that needs brought in.

Also anyone while preparing dinner and setting out food can get distracted or have to leave the kitchen for a few minutes -- I live alone, but sometimes invite people over dinner. I don't have a way to close my kitchen off to the dogs, if say I need to go use the bathroom, or I want to go change into some nicer clothes before my company arrives. So, saying that leaving food out is a people training issue and that it's not right to make a dog fight it's base nature is kind of off the mark.

Notahusky, as far as solving the problem, I'm not a dog trainer, but if he were mine, I would try these things. I would refresh her basic training, if I kind of let it slack, or if I had a dog that never had any...and I have adopted dogs like that.
Get the 'sit and stay' down, and get her use to obeying commands, listening to you.

Once she's obeying your commands, for the basic stuff, teach her to 'leave it' when it comes to food on the floor, even at feeding time, until you give the signal that she can have whatever is laying there, be it a doggy biscuit or a toy. Also absolutely ban her from the kitchen, never allow her in there.

There are some videos listed in this training forum, in the sticky area...which show you some methods on the leave it command. I am absolutely terrible at remembering names, so I hope one of the other posters will come in and tell you the name, but there is a highly recommended YouTube trainer who I *think* goes by the name of Kiko, or something like that. I believe I watched one of her videos a long time ago on how to teach a dog to 'leave it'.

Now I don't know if that kind of training, will carry over to a point where a dog would leave food on a counter alone, especially with one who's already experienced the joy of counter surfing for food. But it might be worth a try.

I've only had a few incidents where I've lost food that was on the counter, and that was just with 1 dog too. She didn't do it 99 percent of the time, and in the course of 16 years of owning her, I lost 1 birthday cake, an opened can of cat food, and a cooked smoked-duck that was cooling off after being cooked.

None of my other pets, even adult ones that I adopted, never stole food from off the counters or table. Nor did they raid the kitchen trash can. Oh, the can of cat food. I use to feed my cat on my clothes washer, 1/2 a can mixed with dry. She didn't like cold canned cat food, so I would leave the unopened can on my kitchen counter with the lid over what was left and a paper towel over that so flies couldn't land on the can. I would come home for lunch some 3 hours later and feed her the rest of the food out of the can. That cat outlived two of my dogs, and I had two other dogs afterwards, and none of them took those cans off my counter...and I'm sure they could smell the opened cans. The one dog I had, Hey You, who did on very rare occasions steal things... she did it so rarely that I was always shocked by it...but she never got worse, in knowing she could get up there and get things if she wanted too, so I never did anything about her once every 5 or 6 years food thefts.

I also pretty much kept my dogs out of the kitchen, especially when I'm cooking and I don't feed them while I'm at the table which is right at the line where the kitchen ends and the living area begins.

Hopefully someone here can give you some training methods to use based on personal experience in having a dog that does something like that, or point out the name of that YouTube trainer, that I can't recall. :P

In the end, you might have to always food proof your kitchen as SageCityClev suggested, and be diligent about the dog being around when there are times you have food out, but hopefully, your dog can be re-trained to leave things alone, no matter how tempting.

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Last edited by StormyPeak; 09-03-2017 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:57 AM
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Don’t Punish Your Dog For Stealing Food
If you punish your dog for stealing food, he will learn to steal food when you’re not around
Fence the kitchen off with a baby gate. By creating a barrier, your dog is unable to patrol the area and look for food
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Old 09-03-2017, 01:01 PM
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Arrow manage food; police the kitchen; limit access...

@StormyPeak -

the trainer U are thinking of is KikoPup, AKA Emily Larlham - she's one of my fave-folks.

Here are her clips on teaching 'Leave it' w/o aversives:

the 9-YO classic:

the update, in TWO parts:

the SAFETY leave-it, for dangerous items or situations:

& specifically, dealing with a counter-surfing dog:

However - i still regard the issue of opportunistic eating by any dog as being primarily a human responsibility; only secondarily is it a dog-training issue.

If U have kids, or a sloppy housemate, food will be dropped on the carpet, roll under the table, dribble down a chair-leg, etc - crumbs, flakes, spills, & chunks will be everywhere.
Just try to clean as frequently as possible, & try to manage food - where it's eaten [preferably kitchen or dining-room, not on the brocade-upholstered sofa on the cream-colored carpet in the living-room... ], sit to eat vs stand, use a plate under a bowl to catch the sauce if it's a drippy item, etc.

Teaching a dog a simple environmental cue that sends them out of the kitchen for food-prep & the subsequent meal is easy - my favorite is slide my cutting board out of the cupboard, & *poof!*, it's magick - all the dogs & cats disappear.

U can teach the dog to go to their bed in another room, to lie at the kitchen doorway where s/he can watch & occasionally be rewarded for good behavior, whatever, wherever -
my cat was taught to decamp from kitchen to cat-tree, so she wouldn't go near the just-wiped counters & table; she was brought back down after the meal was over with a toy to chase & kill, or fetch.

- terry

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food, from the table, malamute

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