food stealing rotty

Posted by Kevin-amp-Diane
Apr 22, 2008
we have a six month old rotty that is growing up fast (really fast) and he always acts like he is hungry. even if he's just eaten or still has food in his bowl, he will never hesitate to jump on counters or the table or steal food from the kids hands. we've tried putting him outside, ignoring him, crating him, yelling at him, but the reward of getting the food always seems greater than the punishment. for the most part (besides the "food" issue) he is well behaved, knows basic commands, & is house broken. any suggestions????
Posted by Kate
Apr 23, 2008

I think you've hit the nail on the head! Food for him is far greater an incentive than the punishment he receives for stealing it.

It sounds like your pup is like many dogs - obedient but to a point. They often will do what you ask (sit, stay etc) because it is not really a big ask and they often get a reward (food, a pat). However will he always do these tasks if there are distractions? Will he concentrate on you and what you are asking him to do? He may not be seeing you as the alpha and it would definately be something to work on alot while he's still young. If he knows you are the boss and will not put up with his naughtiness, he will start to think twice about stealing food.

He needs to know that the kids are higher up the ranks too. So they need to be doing obedience training with him, eating before he does etc. Also never reprimand the children in front of the dog as this starts to make him think they are inferior to him and he may start to feel he needs to discipline them himself!

So I would recommend that you work hard at reinforcing you and your family at the top of the hierarchy. Once dogs know their place, they often feel much more secure in themselves and a great number of behaviour problems can be avoided.

Slightly off the topic but what are you feeding your pup, and how frequently?
Puppies have smaller stomachs and feeding them smaller amounts 2-3 times a day is a better idea than 1 big meal. Rotties are large breed dogs and sometimes their bones grow too fast compared with their muscles and can develop problems later in life. So its a good idea to grow them slow, ie don't overfeed and ensure their diet is providing all the nutrients they need. The best way to do this is feed with a commercial large-breed puppy food that has been AFFCO tested and is 'complete and balanced'. Many supermarket brands are fine but check the labels so you know what you are getting.

Good luck,