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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK folks, my sister recently brought home a 3 month old (vets guess) black lab/pitbull mix. We have no idea on her prior background, Beth found the dog as a stray. she is a gorgeous pooch.
Her name is zoom. she is now 6 months old, and she has not done well at our house, in terms of adapting to the home.

she's house trained well enough, which is good. Not yet at the "go to the door and bark" like our Saint and our Corgis, but, they are also all older than 4 years. She'll get there.

The issue, is countertops. we've lost probably 10 pounds of butter to the freakin dog. Our Saint, Samson, was like this when he was younger as well, but when he got used to a regular food routine, that stopped (and once or twice, particularly when he took a roast off the counter, his ass saw the stinging side of a flyswatter).

Zoom does not seem to sprecken de englais on this issue. I'm at a loss. My sister is not around much to take care of the dog, when she is around she's on the ball and disciplines Zoom when need be. The methods are the same, the requisites for bad behaviour are the same. we're consistent.

I'm kinda at a loss. She'll be a great dog I am sure. She'll sit, stay, sit at one end of the room, wait for you to put down the food, and then walk over to eat. she'll speak, she comes to her name (ish, I dunno if it's the whistle we use after it, or the name itself she recognizes). But I dunno how much I wanna wait out a couple 3 years of dealing with this business of snatching food and being a general pain underfoot/in the kitchen. She doesn't have a tude, she is not violent in any way. She just doesn't seem to "get" that she got into shit for something.

She gets exercise, she is fed twice daily. FYI, she eats like she has a worm, although we've been assured twice that she has nothing of the sort. She eats more than Samson did when he was a similar age, and he had a similar exercise schedule (was an active boy, still is at the ripe old age of 10).

Tips from the pros? My Corgi (Teddy) is a real gem. Samson turned out great after a couple of really stubborn-headed years. The two female Saints we had were great dogs as well (yes, at one time we had 5 dogs. the house was. . .chaotic).

I know she's not gonna be perfect, but I'd like to not lose another whole roasted chicken if I can avoid it.
 

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Does she climb up a chair to get on the counter? I've never seen a dog do that. You have to catch her in the act or damn close or she won't know why she's in trouble. Pits have an insane pain tolerance so she probably isn't going to feel a flyswatter unless its to the face, and I wouldn't recommend smacking her in the face. Put her in timeout. And if it keeps happening stop giving her the opportunity to steal food, just put her away for dinner
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
she jumps up, front paws on the counter, and reaches. and she has a decent reach.

I have caught her in the act numerous times. these are the only times I discipline her.

our house is hectic as hell. we rarely have meals one Tuesday that are within 2 hours of the ones held Monday. there is always food out.
 

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As a long time dog trainer I can tell you that you are setting this dog up for failure by leaving this food within reach. This is a young dog who is still maturing and learning what her boundaries are. And at her age and in her mind she has a right to any and everything. You could completely make the kitchen off limits, if this is possible. Like someone else said, disciplining a dog will only work if done at the time of the offense. I know there are some who believe you can bring a dog back to the "scene of a crime," so to speak, and discipline them but this does not work.
I could try a food reward exercise with food present in the kitchen out in the open but in reality it will likely work better if nothing is left in reach of the dog.
She sounds like a sweetheart so be patient with her and let her mature.
 

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One technique I have heard a few times is to put mouse traps out where you don't want the dog to go, i.e. couch or countertop. Then you cover with a light blanket so it doesn't catch their paws (or tongue). The snapping noise scares them allegedly and they learn to stay away? Never had to do it with our two GSD's. But supposedly it works when no people around....autopilot so to speak.
 

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I've heard coins rattled in a soda can make a noise they don't like. The main thing is to change their mindset as they're doing the offense. I use touch and loud noise when I want my dogs to stop doing something, it is very effective.

The dog trainer is right though. Leaving food out is a really bad idea for lots of good reasons. That kind of positive reinforcement is almost impossible to overcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
fair enough. will take steps to keep the food off the counter.
 

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This is taken from cesars website , i hope it can be of some help.



When a dog steals food, its intent is not malicious, but it can be quite annoying and, in some cases, even harmful. A dog stealing food may not sound that serious, but it can lead to sharp or hot objects falling on them, or eating something that is harmful to dogs. Although dogs naturally have a strong food drive, it does not give them permission to steal yours. Here is what you can do to prevent doggy thefts.
Control their access to food
One of the easiest ways to prevent food theft is to control your dog’s access to food in the first place. Your pet should not be in your presence during dinner. If your dog likes to beg for food, then they should remain in their area until you have finished eating. They should also be restricted from being in the kitchen and dining areas as well. Make it clear that these areas are human territory.
Organize a feeding schedule
Sometimes, dogs will steal food if they have not been fed in a long time. Dogs do have instincts to scavenge if there are no other food sources around. If you have not already done so, create a feeding schedule for your pet and stick to it every day. The dog will eventually learn when to expect food and will not feel so anxious about it. Also, you should always exercise your dog with a long walk before feeding time. This will not only drain their excess energy, but it will make them “work” to earn their food.
Eliminate all unauthorized feeding
Sometimes people can encourage their pets to steal. Feeding your dog from your plate, giving treats during dinner, and giving into begging can actually perpetuate the very behavior that you want to eliminate. Only feed your dog during their feeding time and make sure that all of the other family members are on board to prevent mixed messages. Feed them with the same bowl and only give them food that is designed for dogs because some dogs will crave human food if they get used to it.
Reinforce basic leadership principles
Much of this problem likely has to do with a lack of basic leadership. Generally, dogs will not violate the rules established by the leader, so the theft is showing that there is a lack of leadership. This could be due a lack of training and inconsistent behavior. Exercise strong leadership around the house and reinforce the basic principles of obedience training.
Dogs steal food primarily because people let them. It is about establishing firm boundaries and providing separate spaces for humans and pets. Allow your dog to have its own feeding time, food, and space, but be sure to do the same for yourself. Be consistent and firm about what your dog can do while you are eating and have every family member follow the same routine to obtain the best results.


Read more: http://www.cesarsway.com/dogbehavior/basics/Dogs-Stealing-Food#ixzz2n6mEYAuv
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
she gets fed at the same times every day.

however, there is no time for me to be walking her for 45 minutes (a "long walk" to this one) twice a day. once can be challenging enough.
 
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