Dogs do some things that their masters are not happy about. Not just occasionally. All the time. The question why dogs steal things may never be answered.

Here are some possibilities.

  • They think we might forget to feed them
  • They really are hungry
  • Dogs are possessive
  • They want your attention
  • Once they smell food, they can’t overcome the urge to eat
  • It is in their DNA

Humans are funny. If it is happening to someone other than us, we think it is funny.

Well get ready to laugh – a lot, as these little monsters steal food, right off the table and in some cases, right out of the fridge or out of the oven.

Training a dog to ignore food is critical both for normal indoor life with a dog, especially breeds such as Great Danes which are already at kitchen counter height, but especially so for service dogs which just be able to lie calmly under a dinner table in a fancy eatery.

Dogs Steal More Than Our Hearts

But the concept of dogs “stealing” is another story entirely. Obviously a hungry dog will “take” food where he or she can get it and a puppy will take almost anything, even garden rocks, because they are teething as well as learning what part of their world is edible.

But “stealing” is a question of morality – intention rather than action. Many scientists are beginning to look into the motivation as well as the easily observable actions of man’s best friend.

But for now this is still an open question – it does seem obvious when you live with them that puppies “steal” food, toys, and treats from their litter mates mostly to get them to play – often dropping the toy in question as soon as the other puppy joins in the game.

dogs steal from siblings

St. Weiler Puppies “discussing” toy ownership

What To Do If Your Dogs Steal Your Things

Arden Moore, in a story at Vetstreet, says “Some dogs steal because they long for your attention. They will take something just to prompt you to chase them. These dogs know what is important to you and they will grab the item just at the right time, so you see them do it. Their great hope is that you will follow in hot pursuit.”

Do your dogs steal? Tell us about your experience in the comment box below.