Anybody who has ever owned a dog will know that they have what is referred to by famed trainer Cesar Millan as a "strong food drive". This means they instinctively take food whenever they can, and this can often mean stealing it from you when you are preparing or even eating it.
This is not really your dog's fault. Canines evolved as both hunters and scavengers, and sparse food sources in the wild meant that dogs were forced to take food whenever they could. It is part of their instincts, therefore, to steal food when they see it is available; after all, it is not stealing to them but survival.
However, this can be dangerous. It is annoying for you, but your dog could end up eating something they shouldn't. If you leave something unattended that contains chocolate - which is poisonous to dogs - and your dog gets hold of it, they could end up making themselves very ill or worse.
If your dog is constantly trying to take food from your plate, it could be because they are genuinely hungry, or lacking in certain nutrients. Think about your pet's food: is it nutritionally balanced? If not, it might be better to switch to a brand like James Wellbeloved dog food to ensure your pet is getting the nutrition they need.
If you are feeding your dog high-quality food and they are still stealing, it might be because they are uncertain as to when their next meal is coming. You should feed your dog at set times of the day, and stick to this schedule as accurately as possible. That way, your dog will know when they are due to be fed.
Another way you can convince your dog to stop stealing is to take them for a walk beforehand, according to Mr Millan. "This will not only drain their excess energy, but it will make them 'work' to earn their food," said the renowned dog trainer.
Of course, it goes without saying that you should not encourage your dog's habit by allowing them to eat from your plate, or feeding them scraps at the table. Stay consistent, and you can put a stop to this bad habit.
Written by: Hannah