Dogs Eating Us Out Of House And Home

We have a boxer that is between 2 and 3 yrs old. we adopted her from a family that couldn't keep her anymore last year. we have been having problems lately with her EATING everything. If our daughter leaves her food on the counter the dog is jumping up and eating it then running to her crate because she knows she did something wrong. This is not a constant problem we have with her and when she behaves well we leave her out of her crate when we leave the home for short amounts of time. Lately we have been having problems with her getting into the pantry and eating the bread, crackers and cheese packs, and a few other things we have for our daughter. We make sure that the pantry is closed but she unfortunately knows how to open doors and we do not want to have to start putting locks on all the cabinets and doors, and we dont feel that we should be putting her in the crate all the time when we leave the house. What can we do Please Help Us....


Honored Member
Ha, sounds like you have a VERY VERY VERY smart dog!!! ha ha!!
There are also various types of door chains and locks to consider at most hardware stores, as well as door-knob guards (which slip around the door knob and don't allow knob to turn) intended for babies, in baby dept.

I'm not as sure as you are, that her running to her crate indicates she "knows" she did something wrong, she may only realize *you* are upset and is trying to avoid punishment...?

also, if you DO use a crate as a punishment, (not sure you are, but if you are) then you can NOT also use it as a safety haven for when you are gone. If a crate is also used as punishment, the dog WILL hate the crate.

Maybe this video can help you train Boxer to stop counter-surfing? KIKOPUP on youtube, is great 'positive only' trainer for behavior problems.

In meantime, until Boxer stops counter-surfing, i would hide all food items for her own health safety. Apparently, it is not impossible for dogs to literally overdose on food and become blocked or worse.


Experienced Member
The easiest solution is management. Make sure all food is inaccessible at all times and leave her in a crate or safe no-food room when you're gone, in the shower, etc. If you can prevent her from getting any rewards for counter surfacing then with enough time the behavior can start to diminish. But since she has had at least a year of being randomly rewarded for counter surfacing and pantry robbing (with huge payoffs!) it is not going to go away quickly. Even one instance of her being able to get food is going to set you back since she will be like a little gambler, knowing that the next attempt could be the big reward!

Work hard on leave it while you are home, always make sure you can guard the food as needed and reward her correct decision. Start with boring kibble and work up until she can leave an entire pizza that's sitting on the floor in front of her. Then move to out of sight leave its while you can monitor her behavior through a mirror, reflection in the oven, or even a video camera.

There is nothing wrong with crating your dog when you're gone. She is a young, high energy dog that is likely getting bored and trying to find some fun things to do when alone. You can make crate time more fun by feeding her all her meals from a stuffed kong and leaving the kong with her.