This hidden camera video caught Lucy the beagle in the act as she helped herself to some chicken nuggets, fresh from a hot oven. While the video may seem funny, a beagle stealing food can be a serious problem for a beagle owner.
Watch the video below as this beagle steals chicken nuggets right out of a hot toaster oven.
Not only is this bad dog manners, but your beagle may get hurt (especially opening a hot oven!). Bad food behavior is much harder to break than it is to prevent, so start by discouraging your beagle from stealing food.
An Ounce of Prevention – Don’t Let Your Beagle Steal Food
When your beagle is stealing food from the kitchen table, on the counter or by tearing open the trash, you’ll have a difficult time breaking that bad habit. Instead, take some simple steps to prevent the problem before it occurs:
- Don’t feed your beagle table scraps. Human food is not always the healthiest food for dogs, so avoid giving them any human leftovers.
- Keep food inaccessible. Food should always be out of reach, especially when you aren’t home. It is best not to leave any food within reach of your dog in plastic bags or foil, since they can easily tear these open. Sealable containers with tight-fitting lids are better, but they should still be well out of reach.
- Give your dog plenty of exercise and attention daily. When a dog gets into something where they don’t belong, it is often a sign that they are not getting enough exercise. You should not only keep them physically engaged, but mentally too. Don’t let your beagle get bored – play games with them and keep them challenged.
- Show your beagle that you are the alpha leader. Knowing that you are in charge will make your beagle more comfortable. This reduces stress and anxiety, which can sometimes cause bad behavior like stealing food or getting into the trash.
If you can keep your beagle from stealing food, you’ll be much farther ahead. Teach your beagle good habits and dog manners and life will be easier for both of you.
How to Stop It
If you’ve come home to a mess left by your beagle on the kitchen floor, whether food or trash, you need to act quickly so the problem doesn’t get out of hand. Just like bad people habits, any bad habit your beagle picks up will be harder to break the longer you wait.
Start by following the preventive steps listed above. Make sure food or trash is inaccessible to your beagle. That might require using child-proof cabinet hardware, moving chairs or blocking access to an area. Using a dog gate to keep your beagle out of the kitchen can certainly help.
Don’t underestimate the importance of exercise and activity. You can take all of the steps to keep food or trash way from your dog only to have them start chewing on furniture or some other aggressive behavior, all because they are not getting enough attention and exercise.
If you’ve tried all of the steps above without success, it may be that your beagle needs some obedience training. This may be a good opportunity to take an obedience class. Often, a good trainer will be able to help you work on specific problems, like stealing food or getting into trash. Just make sure you’ve put a real effort into the basics first – there are no short cuts.
If all else fails and you cannot keep your beagle away from the kitchen, it may be time to call in a professional. Your vet or local dog organization may be able to recommend a trainer that can dig deeper into your beagle’s food theft issue and come up with a plan to resolve it. Having to go this far is rare, though. Most likely you’ll find a solution by implementing the recommendations above and your beagle will no longer be stealing food while your back is turned.