Stop Your Dog’s “Food Stealing”

If you’ve got a dog who’s got a real problem resisting the urge to SWIPE food off of your plate the second your back is turned, try this exercise below that I call, The Elevator Game.

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  1. Vera says:

    Hi, I gave a 15 month old english cream retriever who takes socks, towels, rocks and whatever else he finds. chews them up and swallows them! He knows Leave it and Drop it. When it comes to something he finds on the floor all commands are off! We have to bribe him with cheese, strawberrys or something He feels like having. If I try to give him a regular treat for what’s in his mouth he just heads in a different direction! He is walked everyday 1-3 miles. He runs around our yard. I work on training 15 minutes 2-3 times a day when I’m home. I’m at wits ends with him. Thankfully nothing has ever gotten lodged yet!
    Any suggestions??


  2. Kathy Aguirre says:

    I need help ! My 9 month old dog will not stop nipping at my shoes when I walk . What can I do to make him stop.


  3. steph says:

    I would say that you have to be very sure of your dog’s temperament before trying this. Some dogs could react badly to having food snatched away from right under their nose.


  4. Megan says:

    Help, I have a 4 month old Lab who’s biting is really out of control. She becomes vicious and really digs her teeth in to myself and my partner. We have tried ignoring it, using high pitch ouch, distraction and try to walk away. In every other aspect she is the perfect pup. We love her to bits but need to get this under control.


    Minette Reply:

    The high pitched squeal sometimes makes things much worse, I would stop that. Read this


  5. Rachel says:

    What about my cat stealing food off plate, he thinks he is a dog


  6. Sue R says:

    Dear Vera,

    I,m not sure This will help, I just wanted to let you know, you are not alone. Our dog started out the same EXACT way, knew the proper commands, but, got a big KICK out of playing with HER find!

    Now, she’s 3 years old, Limits her ‘stealing’ yo just a few items, then holds them and will ‘bring’ when offered a treat!

    So, we succeeded in teaching our dog it’s ok to steal and hold things ransom for ‘treats’.

    It’s good you are seeking answers to this. I’ll try to check in to see if there’s answers to this!!


  7. Martha says:

    If you are teaching your dog not to take food off the plate, why after the excercise do you let the dog eat off the plate? I like the way you teach this great excercise, but it also seems you are giving a mixed message.


  8. Lynn Fox says:

    We fold our arms turn our back & Firmly say game over.


  9. N Hall says:

    I’d very much like to stop my 16mth wire hair dachund cross from barking and going into a frenzy whenever i put on handbrake to leave the car. whether in seat belt, loose or in cage. otherwise youd never know he is in the car. he stops within seconds of me leaving the car. but I and passengers can’t leave it fast enough.


  10. Mary says:

    I have A3 year old Doberman that has gone through two major operations because of eating a large sock and the second time a bottle cap. She cannot be around kids because kids have toys. How do I break her of eating everything she should not be eating? I have to be careful about her dog toys but she has more dog toys than my Jack Russell but she still eats everything else. My Jack Russell can only play with her toys in my room with the door closed.


    Minette Reply:

    use the search bar at the top of the page to search for articles on leave it


  11. Lin Bauer says:

    I do a very similar exercise when they get fed but I give the “watch” command and when my dog’s eyes make contact with min and keeps it there she gets her food. I alter the time she has to keep eye contact with me.
    BUT I have a ado that opens cupboards and steel anything that smells edible when I am not watching???!!!


  12. Jamie says:

    It seems to me that allowing your dog to eat the human food (e.g., pizza) off of a plate, would be playing with fire. Then he would be more likely to think it’s okay to eat human food and get things off your plate, when you’re really gone (like leaving the room). Wouldn’t it make more sense to give him a REALLY GOOD dog treat after he doesn’t pay attention to the pizza?


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