If you have owned certain breeds of dog then you will undoubtedly have been caught off guard when they steal whole plates of food from right behind your back. Yes I am looking at you, Labrador owners!
A naughty Beagle stealing food from the dinner table
Dogs will most often steal food out of boredom rather than out of hunger, which is why it is important to keep your dog physically as well as mentally active throughout the day. If your dog is left alone for long periods he will be inclined to entertain himself, usually with destructive behaviours like stealing food.
A little Jack Russell stealing food from a dinner plate
The best way to stop your dog from stealing food is to teach him that this behaviour is wrong. Place food around your kitchen and slowly walk around with him on a short lead. Make sure that the food is in containers so that your dog can see it and smell it but can't actually grab it. This is very important, because if he does grab it he will think that he is being rewarded. When he approaches any of the food that you have laid out, give him a gentle pull on the lead and firmly call “No”. When he begins to learn that he must not approach the food on the lead, try the same method off the lead. He will soon learn that he must not steal any food.