How to Train a Pair of Boxer to Stop Stealing Each Other’s Food

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: November 18, 2017

For this Omaha dog training session we worked with a pair of Boxers; 10 month-old Nala (left) and 3 year-old Roman (right) who both like to jump up, steal each other’s food and get excited when guests arrive.

When I first arrived I learned that Nala was a recent addition to this family and had only been in the home for two weeks. One of the puppy behavior concerns that her guardians had was her stealing Roman’s dog food. Nala was probably trying to assert herself into a leadership position with her new dog friend after arriving in the home.

To help Nala stop stealing Roman’s dog food I suggested that the guardians use our Structured Eating exercise. This exercise rewards the better behaved dog, typically the eldest dog in the home, by being able to eat first. In the dog world it is rude for another dog to be within seven feet of another dog eating. I taught the guardians how to train Nala to stay back while Roman eats and wait politely for her turn to eat her dog food. You can see how I accomplished this in the video below.

As you can see in the video Nala and Roman both made some attempts to cross the invisible boundary that we set for them. When setting new invisible boundaries in the home it is always important for every family member living in the home to know exactly where that boundary is. This will help the whole family be consistent with the boundary line and help the dogs learn faster and faster how to stay respectfully behind it.

By the end of the session both dogs were calm and learning to not get too excited when guests arrive. I want to remind the guardians that consistency is key! The more times you are able to reinforce positive behavior with our Petting with a Purpose technique the better and use our Escalating Consequences to disagree with unwanted behavior. We wrapped up this session with Nala and Roman’s Roadmap to Success video, which you can watch below.

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