Monday, July 31, 2006

When Good Dogs turn bad.

At five years, seven months and 27 days old, Cooper has just discovered the joys of illicit countersurfing.
His takes in the last 3 weeks:

About a pound of Mackinac fudge: pistachio, chocolate mint and maple praline.
Almost an entire raw chicken, out of the sink.
A tub of feta cheese.
Cat food.
More cat food.
Some vanilla yoghurt.

Now this is a dog who well understands "leave it." I can put food on the floor, tell the dogs to "leave it", and they will, even in my absence - although I don't suppose it would be fair to expect them to ignore food for like a whole day. I've left him sitting in the truck with food accessible, and if I tell him to leave it alone, he will. For all these years, I've left raw meat things - dog food - thawing in the sink with nary a worry.
It's not like he's forgotten - he's only filched things when I'm not in the room. Late last night I tried an experiment and put a treat on a chair, told both dogs not to touch it and left the room for about 10 minutes. They complied.
So, what the hell?
My best guess is a confluence of conditions:

A few weeks ago, Daphne dislocated her kneecap again. It took her a while to heal up and become ambulatory. So, she and Cooper weren't having their usual play-crazies in the back yard....Coop got kind of clingy and followed me from room to room. He normally doesn't do this.
Between my long work hours, the heat and the rain, the dogs haven't been getting as many long walks as usual. Cooper is an easy keeper and gains weight in the bat of an eye - I've cut his food back some so he stays lean.
He's been good about respecting Elvis's food (on a seperate little counter in the kitchen) for almost a year and maybe he finally succumbed?

He lives to eat and is very "food motivated" so I guess I should be surprised that he has been so good for all these years.
The easiest route is to retrain myself to be more careful about leaving food out. The pig! No ill effects from anything he filched, except I found plastic wrap from the fudge in his poop with the writing still intact.


Blogger threecollie said...

Oh dear, you are lucky he didn't make himself sick. Mike is the same way, very obedient, knows "leave it" and will still sneak food off the counter at random intervals.
We used to have a little mongrel named Sparky, whom we thought was a paragon of virtue. She NEVER stole food....until we got border collies that is. They are into everything they can get into as pups before they learn manners and soon found the source of all things good to eat. As soon as she saw Mike steal food, she took it up with a wonderful enthusiasm. She was just too dumb to figure out how to do it for herself. lol

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Leon said...

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4:49 PM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

Dante goes through periods of food snatching, then he doesn't do it again for a year or more. I don't know what sets him off, but he's eaten (at different times), a loaf of bread, a box of pancake mix, two cooked hamburger patties with cheese on them, and a plastic container of honey. He's an odd guy. The honey was the worst, as it was a real pain to clean it off the patio so it didn't attract ants.

Today our GSD ate a cat toy, but she just picked it up off the floor and consumed it. I think she was stressed at being home alone while we took Dante in to have his stitches removed.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Junebugg said...

I thought that chocolate was bad for dogs? Lucky him to have no after effects

11:02 PM  
Blogger Behind Blue Eyes said...

I always thought that dogs misbehaved the most when left alone too long. Not that you can help leaving him or anything....but it sounds like the common wisdom. You know......dogs are a lot like kids...they start smoking dope when their owners aren't around...maybe he was smoking dope and got the munchies.

1:50 AM  
Blogger Carina said...

Heh....luckily he's got a pretty sturdy constitution, that boy, so no harm done, except that fudge was actually meant for a friend. Wonder if she believed me when I said "the dog ate it" LOL.
Junebugg - chocolate is indeed bad for dogs, but mainly dark/bakers' chocolate. A 100lb dog would have to eat a truly huge amount of fudge to suffer harm.

5:40 AM  
Blogger JJ said...

Oh yes, we've been there seen that with the writing on the poop. ;-) Except ours was a 2lb bag of oreos, and a 5lb bag of cat food, all eaten in one sitting by a 23lb terrier mix with apparently an infinitely expanding stomach.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:03 PM  
Blogger yellowdog granny said...

sounds like a bit of attention getter to me or ill eat all your food..i like cooper..hah

1:19 PM  
Blogger jill bryant said...

I am very impressed with the obedience of their leave it. We work on it but it is a very tenuous command...Honey's a smart pup, too, so that leaves only one weak link in the training process...

12:06 PM  
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