Is Your Dog Stealing Food? 

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If your canine companion has made a habit out of secretly (or not so secretly) stealing food, making changes to this unwanted routine can be a challenge. This is a guide to help change dog stealing food behaviors.

Successfully stealing food gives your dog an instant reward, so it’s no surprise that owners will need to focus on revisiting some training methods as well as working to eliminate opportunities for their furry thief.

Hours of research and listening to dog owners, customers, trainers, and other experts were completed to offer our recommendations on training and products to help reverse dog stealing food behaviors. 

We’ll discuss why some dogs are tempted by this behavior and explain training techniques that can be successful. But first, let’s take a quick look at some products that can also help put an end to dog stealing food behavior and reinforce training. 

When it comes to the best products to help guide owners who notice their dog stealing food, our staff at Dog Training Boss were impressed with a few options. One of our favorite products is the Petlibro Automatic Food Dispenser because it helps tame dog stealing food behaviors that might be associated with hunger. Dog owners can set the dispenser and rely that their furry friend it getting the correct amount of food at the desired time of day. 

Since every dog owner is looking for different benefits to fit their dog’s needs, we reviewed several products that help address causes of dog stealing food behaviors and suggest training tips to help be successful.

Overall Best in Show: Petlibro Automatic Food Dispenser

Best For Simplicity: Allinko Magnetic Feeding Reminder

Best for Attention Seekers: Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Twister Puzzle

Let’s take a look at what products can best curb your dog’s behavior.

Petlibro Automatic Food Dispenser

Food Capacity: 5L

Programs: Up to 6 meals per day

Power: Electric with battery backup

Dimensions: 7.5 x 7.5 x 13.8 inches

If you think your canine’s dog stealing food behavior is linked to being over-fed or under-fed, the Petlibro Automatic Food Dispenser can make it simple for owners to know how much their dog is fed each day. No more second-guessing if you remembered to give your dog that second feeding!

What Dog Owners Liked: Overall, dog owners have been happy with Petlibro Automatic Food Dispenser and its programming options. The dispenser holds up to 5 liters of dry food and helps keep food fresh and secure from insects or bacteria. Many owners found the program fairly easy to set up and the double-power features give owners peace of mind when they are away or if the power in their home goes out. 

The Petlibro Automatic Food Dispenser also uses infrared technology to detect obstructions or playful paws. It comes apart for easier cleaning and the stainless steel bowl is dishwasher safe.

Fun Feature: The programming on the dispenser allows pet owners to create a 10-second voice recording so your voice can announce feeding times to your dog!

Allinko Magnetic Feeding Reminder

Dimensions: 4.73” by 6.46”

Colors: Silver, black

Breed: All

For dog owners, keeping track of feeding schedules can become a challenge, especially if there are multiple people sharing the responsibility. If an automatic feeding dispenser isn’t quite what you had in mind, some dog owners prefer a simple way to keep feeding times. 

What Dog Owners Liked: The Allinko Magnetic Feeding Reminder helps keep track of your dog’s AM/PM feeding schedule and gives a clear look at how often your dog is given food. Not only does this help manage hunger that can lead to food theft, but it also reduces the likelihood of your companion being overfed or underfed.

Owners describe the Allinko Magnetic Feeding Reminder as simple, functional, and the size is good for readability. Some owners also mention the reminder is a good way to keep track of any medicine your dog might need as well. 

Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Puzzle

Material: Polypropylene, Plastic

Dimentions: 1.75″ H x 11.75″ L x 11.75″ W

Colors: Blue, purple

Nina Ottosson has been creating puzzles for over 25 years, and several of her stimulating dog treat toys are fast favorites for furry friends. If you feel like the dog stealing food behavior in your house is connected to a mischievous bored dog, there are many reasons to give the Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Twister Puzzle a try.

What Dog Owners Liked: Along with added exercise, a stimulating brain toy can make a big difference in your dog’s unwanted behavior. Many owners like the Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Twister Puzzle because it quickly can redirect a dog’s behavior as they work to slide, pull, and unlock the hidden treats.

Dog owners found the toy easy to clean with soap and warm water and like that it is BPA, PVA, & phthalate free. The Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Twister Puzzle Is fun for all breeds, but the hidden compartments work best to hide small treats or kibble.

As with all dog products, no dog toy is completely indestructible. Inspect for damage between playtimes and use with supervision. 

Why Dogs Steal Food

Dog stealing food behavior happens for many reasons and identifying the reason can help focus on the most successful ways to make changes. Here’s a few reasons your dog might be a food thief. 

Finds Opportunities

It’s hard to blame a dog that takes advantage of an opportunity in reach – even a well trained dog has trouble avoiding temptation from time to time.

However, aside from this behavior being frowned upon by owners, it can also a safety concern. Not all food items are safe for dogs to eat and food in a pan can be too hot. We’ll take a closer look at training tips to tame counter-surfers in the next section.


While this is pretty self-explanatory, hungry dogs are following their instincts to search for their next meals. 

If you notice dog stealing food behavior because your dog is hungry, speak with your vet about the right kinds of nutritional needs and food brands for your furry friend to make sure they are not over-fed or under-fed throughout the day. 

Needs Attention

Some dogs are simply bored or have more energy and can be known to cause a little mischief! While adding extra walks to use energy into their daily routine can certainly help, many dog owners find successful attention management with brain toys for their companion. 

Exercise and brain stimulation won’t replace the attention they want from their humans, but it can help decrease their desire to act on unwanted behaviors – like stealing food.  

Each dog has their own motive when it comes to this crime, but whatever the reason, finding the best products and methods to stop a dog from stealing food will not be completely successful without some focused training. 

Training Tips: Dog Stealing Food

As you might have expected, the best results still rely on mindful behavior training. Here are a few tips to help you and your furry friend put an end to food thievery.

Remove Opportunities

When it comes to finding opportunities to steal food, dogs will find every little crumb… literally!  

One of the most successful techniques to help end this behavior is by means of removing temptations. Re-training your own home behavior to put away food instead of leaving it on countertops and tables can help speed along successful dog stealing food training.

After all, there’s no reward if there’s no food to steal.

No Kitchen Handouts

If your dog hunts in the kitchen like my dog, they know the occasional free handout while chopping vegetables or putting away leftovers can be a reliable source of a snack. 

As harmless as it may seem, this behavior teaches your canine that human food handouts are acceptable in the kitchen. This makes the food-stealing behavior more difficult to change. 

Space To Lie Down

Some dog owners have found that giving their companion a space, like a small bed or mat, to lie down on nearby helps keep dog stealing food behavior at a minimum. 

Reward your dog for staying in their space while you work in the kitchen. Many dogs soon understand that the consistent reward for staying put is better than the inconsistent opportunity to steal a bite or two.

Plus, many dogs seem to enjoy the interesting scents and smells coming from being near the kitchen

The Value of Training Treats

When possible, immediately reward your furry friend with praise, treats, and love for good behavior. This helps your dog associate the reward with the desired behavior. 

Quick access to training treats can make training go faster and be more successful. If your canine is motivated by treats, you might want to have rewards ready and in reach while you focus on training. Many owner enjoy a hands-free option, like a treat bag or fanny pack, to keep rewards nearby. Check out our review of the best dog treat fanny packs to look at some treat carrying options that fit your lifestyle.

Our Final Thoughts

Our staff at Dog Training Boss were pleased with many of the products we researched while looking for products that can help support successful training when it comes to stealing food.

Our favorite pick is the Petlibro Automatic Food Dispenser. Many dog owners not only used this dispenser to help control feeding portions and times, but found it useful for when they needed to leave their furry friend home for longer periods of time.

As always, safety should be the top priority with any dog product or training. We hope this review guides you in the right direction to help stop your furry friend from stealing your snacks!

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As a parent, dog owner, dog foster caregiver, and writer, I strive to create a loving home environment for all two and four-legged creatures. My background also includes research analysis and journalism. I work closely with animal behavior experts, trainers, and staff at Dog Training Boss to provide clear information that helps dog owners make the best decisions for their canine.

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