It doesn't matter how well-behaved they normally are, when it is left nearby, most pets won't be able to resist trying to get a bite of food. And these funny pictures show that certain animals are very bold when it comes to stealing their owners' treats.
Maybe a kitchen counter isn't like a huge deal to you, but believe me, to your cat, it's the ultimate objective, a land of opportunity, a treasure trove all in one. Its captivating odours, mouth-watering sights and irresistible flavours make it nearly impossible to turn into a professional thief for any four-legged pal.
Fortunately, both of these dogs and cats were caught red-handed when conducting their petty crimes, but even though we both forgive them, it doesn't guarantee they won't do it again. And then again.
Kate, a professional animal behaviourist, said certain dogs are notorious stealers of food because "they are more inspired by food than other pets, and their past attempts to steal food have been enhanced (rewarded)."
The animal behaviourist gave an example: "a dog that has successfully stolen a whole roast chicken off the kitchen bench is likely to replicate the behaviour given future opportunities." If the act of trying to steal food really pays off, your furry companion's chances are high to continue it.
Kate clarified that stealing food, also defined as counter surfing, is an "opportunistic activity," focused solely on understanding that such activity pays off, so animals are attracted to imitate it.
“It has nothing to do with being dominant; rather, it's influenced by previous experiences finding food on kitchen benches and tables,” she concluded.
The great news is that you can actually teach your pet not to steal food "by doing an incompatible behaviour such as sitting on their floor, emphasizing it rather than looking at food in the kitchen."
Kate said this can be achieved by always rewarding your pet with high-value treats to sit on their mat while you're cooking food or consuming it. "It is necessary to avoid leaving food outside the training sessions on countertops and tables or when you can not supervise your pet," she added.
Be diligent, and "the pet should have less chance to steal food over time and with practice," the pet behaviourist concluded.