By Ursula Birr
Where there is nothing to steal, the dog never gets stupid ideas. Instead of in the fruit bowl, fruits should wait in a hanging basket to be eaten, sausage and cheese should only come out of the refrigerator when they are eaten and sweets and savory biscuits should be stored in containers with lids. Of course, this also applies to dog food: Store only in closed containers. The prepared ingredients or dishes in the kitchen, like the set table, must not be out of your sight for a minute. Dogs know if they are being watched and will take advantage of every moment you are distracted. Without a guilty conscience.
Never teach your dog tricks like “pulling open a drawer” or “opening a door”. Because what he has learned once, he develops further and uses it even when nobody gives him the command. “Open the box” and “remove the lid” are also completely counterproductive.
Successful theft creates a feeling of pleasure in the dog, a feeling of frustration to be caught and rejected. So treat him to his sense of achievement and use a disused basket or box as a fund for stolen goods. A bit of crumpled wrapping paper or light plastic balls make the “secret” search even more exciting. Every now and then (by no means all the time) there is a delicacy in the Klaukorb, a cheese cube, a few chunks of dry food, a bone. And you look discreetly away when the dog slowly creeps up from the side.
If you have already gotten the dog that has just moved in to use a marker word that he can use, this “start signal” is set so firmly that even a hungry dog can refrain from stealing his mouth. It is more difficult with a multiple offender who is already known to the family. Because with him “Bon appetit” only works after training a stop signal – our tip 5.
Notorious food thieves need a resounding “No!” – Depending on your sensitivity, spoken only harshly and in a deep voice or loud and clear with a simultaneous threatening step towards the dog. Wait until he gets ready to take a chunk (laid out) and then block his way. Erected and with a stop signal. Then take the chunk with you. Because he is yours. And the dog knows that now at the latest.
Rituals prove themselves time and again in everyday dog-human life. Assign this and therefore its permanent place in the living and dining room, to which it can retreat, but also always has to when you set the table, eat or put the chip bowl on the coffee table. There he gets his chewing bone until all the goodies have been plastered or cleared away by the people.
Often enough, begging and being answered precede the theft. A bite to eat from the table is enough to make the dog stare at every bite and hypnotize you with a piercing gaze. From now on, feeding from the table (or from the kitchen counter) is absolutely taboo. If you are not a “tough guy” who can pull this off, close the kitchen and dining room door and let the dog wait outside.
This article was published in our magazine issue 12/2014.
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