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Holly, our chi mix that we adopted at 9 months old, has a terrible habit of stealing food from my 4 year old son & I don't quite know what to do about it.

Both of our chi x girls are fed about 1/3 cup Evo twice a day (Yogi gets more as he is younger) as per the pack guidleines & are at healthy weights. I also let them "clean up" after the kids (saves getting the vac out all the time ;) ), but neither Bella nor Yogi would ever steal from their hands.

Another weird thing is that if I give the dogs treats Holly will hoard everyones & sit & eat them until they are all gone. This doesn't bother Bella cause she is not really a chewer but it is a pain for Yogi who likes his chewies & is starting to teath. I also caught her eating a couple of pencils today that the kids had left lying around & she is 14 months old now and seems to have all her adult teeth so not sure this would be a teathing thing :confused:

When we got her she was overweight & her previous owners claimed she didn't eat much.... I believe they only really gave her human food because it took her quite a while to get used to the idea of eating a kibble or tinned food.

I really don't think she is hungry so any ideas on why she is doing this & how to curb this bevaviour would be much appreciated!
 

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She's just doing what any normal dog would do--get food from where ever. I will usually feed my chi right before we eat. This way she's done eating before we eat & then she knows she's banned from the dining room while we're eating. I have twin 5 year olds that I have always told not to feed her for many different reasons.
You can train your chi not to be in the dining room while you are eating. It was pretty easy to teach Midgie & once in a great while, she'll try to sneak in, but as soon as I say her name, she leaves.
 

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Gracie is my little thief. She will snatch the treat right out of Pedro's mouth if we don't stand watch.

Do you take it from her and tell her 'no' in a stern voice?
 

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Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately it is not really meal times that are a problem, but more if he is having a snack. As my son is delayed he doesn't understand not to feed the dog or to to keep the food up high while he is eating so it is not near her so I think she has learnt to "stalk" him to steal his biscuits & things. Sorry should have explained that before. It is also very difficult to keep my son confined while eating as he has high energy needs & eats almost constantly & is now too big to be comfortable in a high chair.

Do you take it from her and tell her 'no' in a stern voice?
If I am quick enough I will take either my sons food or the dog chews off her & say no, but usually she is too quick & has chomped it down before I can get to her.


I have never used a crate with my other dogs, but I am starting to wonder if this might be a way to help Holly learn more appropriate behaviour as we are also still having toilet training issues with her too?
 

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Gracie is pretty fast when she steals food, too, so I can certainly relate! On the other hand, she's a great vacuum cleaner.

I strongly recommend using a crate when you cannot give her your full attention. It will make training so much easier!
 

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My experience is that it takes a LOT of training to train a dog into NOT taking food when it's right there lol! A crate will keep your dog away from the food temporarily, and it's a very valuable training aid, but you're going to have to be a very dedicated trainer to actually train your dog to not eat what's in front of his nose.
 
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