How do I prevent my dog or puppy from stealing food from the table?


So, How do I prevent my dog or puppy from stealing food from the table? Dogs have an innate curiosity and a keen sense of smell, making them natural scavengers when it comes to food. While their enthusiasm for treats is adorable, it can also lead to some less-than-ideal behaviors, like raiding the kitchen counter or swiping snacks from the table. However, with patience, consistency, and a few clever tricks up your sleeve, you can curb this unwanted behavior and enjoy meals in peace.

Prevent My Dog or Puppy from Stealing Food from the Table

It’s time to tackle the root of the problem head-on. Here are some proven methods to prevent your dog or puppy from pilfering food from the table:

  1. Set Clear Boundaries: Establish rules from the get-go and make it clear to your dog that the table is off-limits. Consistency is key here; enforce the boundary every time your dog approaches the table.
  2. Provide Ample Exercise: A tired dog is less likely to engage in mischief. Ensure your furry friend gets plenty of physical and mental stimulation through daily walks, playtime, and training sessions.
  3. Use Positive Reinforcement: Reward good behavior with treats, praise, or affection. When your dog refrains from begging or attempting to steal food, acknowledge and reinforce this desired behavior.
  4. Create a Safe Space: Designate a cozy spot for your dog to retreat to during mealtimes, such as a bed or crate. This not only prevents them from wandering near the table but also gives them a sense of security.
  5. Practice Leave It Command: Teach your dog the “leave it” command to deter them from approaching forbidden items. Start by using treats or toys during training sessions, gradually transitioning to real-life scenarios like mealtime.
  6. Invest in Interactive Toys: Keep your dog entertained and mentally stimulated with interactive toys that dispense treats. This redirects their focus away from the table and satisfies their urge to scavenge.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How do I react if my dog steals food from the table?

If you catch your dog in the act, avoid scolding or punishing them after the fact, as they won’t understand the connection between their behavior and the consequence. Instead, calmly remove them from the area and redirect their attention to a more appropriate activity.

2. Is it okay to share human food with my dog?

While some human foods are safe for dogs in moderation, it’s essential to be cautious and avoid feeding them anything that could be harmful. Certain foods like chocolate, grapes, and onions can be toxic to dogs, so stick to dog-friendly treats or consult with your veterinarian for guidance.

3. Can I train an older dog not to steal food?

Yes, it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks! While younger dogs may pick up commands more quickly, older dogs can still learn with patience and consistency. Start by implementing training sessions and positive reinforcement techniques to modify their behavior gradually.

4. Should I crate my dog during mealtime?

Crating your dog during mealtime can be an effective way to prevent them from accessing the table. However, it’s essential to ensure the crate is a comfortable and positive space for your dog, rather than using it as a form of punishment.

5. How long does it take to train a dog not to steal food?

The time it takes to train your dog depends on various factors, including their age, breed, and previous training experience. While some dogs may catch on quickly, others may require more time and repetition. Stay patient, consistent, and celebrate small victories along the way.

6. What if my dog’s food stealing behavior persists?

If your dog’s food stealing behavior persists despite your efforts, consider seeking guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide personalized advice and strategies tailored to your dog’s specific needs and temperament.


Preventing your dog or puppy from stealing food from the table is not an insurmountable challenge. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can teach your canine companion to respect boundaries and enjoy meals together harmoniously. By implementing the strategies outlined in this guide and staying proactive in your training efforts, you’ll soon find yourself sharing the dinner table with a well-behaved and obedient furry friend.

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Cat Hocking

Having had dogs all of my life I have learnt so much and continue to learn more with each individual dog that enters our family. These amazing creatures can teach us so much! In the Dog Care Guru I share information, resources and accessories for our canine children.

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