A lot of dogs steal food from countertops, storage cupboards or even out of the hands of slow moving children. Stealing food is just one of the things that dogs are really good at and are driven to do by powerful internal urges. It's as if they're always on a seafood diet - see food and eat it, that is.
Actually, 'steal' is rather a strong word. It implies some kind of unscrupulous behavior or moral turpitude. However, it's far less complicated than that where dogs are concerned. They detect some tasty food, it beckons to them by means of its odor, and they seize it and devour it without guilt. Dogs that have been punished for stealing will not usually steal food in their owner's presence but that's because they are avoiding punishment, not because they think that what they are doing is wrong. So, if dogs have no conscience about stealing and they enjoy food, what can a poor dog owner do to protect their barbecued offerings or Thanksgiving feast? Is punishment and constant policing the only answer? Not really - there are a few other things that can be done to help.
How To Prevent Dogs Stealing Food
(Note: A shake can is an empty soda can with several pennies inside and the opening taped shut so that the pennies don't fly out).
That a dog will be attracted to a delicious piece of human food is a given. It's our job as dogs' friends and leaders to teach them good manners and acceptable behavior. Reward-based training is the best way to accomplish this. A well-trained dog is a happier dog and is a more welcome dog. In this long run, our training his restraint will permit him more freedom and thus more enjoyment. All he has to do is resist the forbidden fruit!