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Strange behaviour form my Giant Schnuazer . . . any ideas ????

(13 Posts)
lydle3 Sat 18-Jul-09 11:39:26

I have been reading through lots of posts hoping for some advice or ideas as to what has happened to my dog - can anyone help please !!!

I have a female giant Schnauzer (pepper and salt) she will be 4 this christmas. We have had her from 12 weeks, she is a lovely well natured dog. Until now, she has started to take ALL food from the sides in the kitchen when i go out.I leave her in kitchen, its hwere her bed is and where i have always left her.

It started when i had to take my daughter to her preschool induction about three weeks ago, i had been shopping in the morning, but didnt have time to put it all away, so put frozen, fridge etc. but left bread crumpets and minirolls on side - when i came home she had eaten the lot ! Which i know is bad for her. She has NEVER done this before, i could leave anything on the side even meat, she has NEVER attempted it.

There are things that have changed at home, we rescued a miniture schnauzer in March, she is about 4, very timid (not well looked after) she was initially a bit put out but they seem to have grown to be fond of each other - i thought ???? Sleep together, play together etc. Of course i am sure small dog helps eat food, but couldnt reach it herself, she is quite scroungy, but i thought this was because treated badly - she was very thin when i got her. Could she have somehow influenced her ???????????

Also my husband was in Afghan for nearly 7 months and is based in Germany (we are moving soon hopefully) so i do all walking, i have three children one on the way and one of them is sick and i attend hospital twice a week with, sometimes more.

I walk every morning for around half an hour, through fields where they run and play, but that is all, when my husband is home we did do twice a day, but the food stealing has been last three weeks. Could it be this ?? I am home all the time, even when i go to hospital its maybe 2-3 hours. They are rarely left. Fed well, i dont know what to do.

Today i forgot to put the bread away, left on top of bread bin, she ate that and then opened bin with her hear (click lid) again never done this before, and ate what she could reach ?

What is wrong with my otherwise lovely dog, i am at the end of my tether with her, i dont have time for this - i am super busy, but thought they were treated well, i can not keep going with this, either i can find a way to stop her otherwise i will have to look for a new home for her. Maybe where she would be happier.??????

Any ideas ???????????????????

Geepers Sat 18-Jul-09 11:49:06

I hate dogs, but even to me this seems like a very trivial reaon to be considering rehoming.

How difficult is it to just make sure food is out of the way before you leave the dog alone?

lydle3 Sat 18-Jul-09 11:55:01

Easy enough, if you remember Geepers, thought i had.

Its not trivial to me, otherwise i wouldnt be looking for advise would i ?

Also as i said I am very busy, with a super busy life, it is dangerous and strange behaviour, considering how long we have had her.

i am really only looking for helpful advise or anyone who knows what could be wrong so i can fix this !

Threadworm2 Sat 18-Jul-09 12:51:31

There could be behavioural reasons like boredom or anxiety. Or it could be that having tried it once she has just cottoned on to a new source of fun.

BUT there might also be a physical cause for sudden huge increase in appetite -- I think <not a vet> that bacterial imbalance in gut, and also vit B deficiency, can have these symptoms. So if it is really out of character a trip to vet might make sense?

fruitshootsandheaves Sat 18-Jul-09 13:20:48

My dogs will do this if I leave any food out on the sides. I think its just opportunity, she's done it once and got a reward so she keeps doing it.
You will have to either just make sure there is nothing left out, which is a pain I know as we have to do this, or you could try giving her something else to distract her.
There are treat balls you can get which you fill with treats, they have a small hole in and as the dog pushes it around a treat falls out.
We have used a treat ball and also If I know I'm going to be out for a couple of hours I leave a few old boxes or plastic bottles around out of the recycle bin which they enjoy ripping up.
Or you could invest in a motion detector spray like this which should stop her jumping up to steal stuff.

wildfig Sat 18-Jul-09 16:17:03

She's probably nicking food because she can, not because she's hungry - after all, it's in 'her' room! If you didn't actively tell her NOT to when she was little, she's probably just worked out that it's there and it's do-able. Schnauzers are incredibly smart dogs (think they're used as police dogs in Italy) and once she's worked out how to get food, she'll keep looking for it as a challenge to amuse herself. Well done her, working out how to operate a bin - my OH can't seem to manage it. Can you move her bed somewhere else? Otherwise you'll just have to be super-disciplined about shutting food away, telling her 'no' in firm terms. You've still got time to nip the counter surfing in the bud if you make it clear that it's unwanted behaviour - distraction is a good solution.

Obviously, you're busy with so much on your plate, but half an hour isn't a huge amount of time for an active dog to wear itself out mentally as well as physically; agree with fruitshoots about the Kongs/treat balls/boxes with stuff in - the 'thinking' is good exercise for her. I put loads of plant pots out in the garden, hide treats under a few, and send our dog out to sniff her way round - maybe the children could help, with supervision? If she learns that she gets treats for doing stuff, rather than pinching it for herself, she'll look for it where you are, instead of counter surfing (is the theory, anyway...)

It might be with a new dog in the house she feels she has to double ensure her supply of food, or she might need a trip to the vet's to check it isn't a hunger-driven thing. But don't rehome her for stealing food! It's irritating but in the scheme of doggie bad behaviour, it's something you can control very easily.

Bella21 Sat 18-Jul-09 20:27:41

If it were me, I'd take her to the vets asap for a check over since ime it's most likely to be a medical problem.

Good luck.

beautifulgirls Sat 18-Jul-09 23:29:56

I agree a vet check would be ideal here to make sure all else is healthy before labelling this as a behaviour problem. Ideally keep a track on her water intake over a 24hr period too before the appointment so you can tell the vet accurately (measure it, not just "2 bowls"!) and if you can collect a fresh urine sample to take with you for them to check too. They will probably want to rule out a few reasons this can happen such as diabetes. If all else seems well from there, then behaviour may well be the issue. You might then like to look up something like DAP collars and/or zylkene to see if that helps chill her out a bit.

muffinmum Sun 19-Jul-09 00:26:00

is she up to date with her worming, not a bob martins/shirleys/johnsons wormer but a vet one:milbemax, drontal, panacur? is she underweight or losing wt? have you changed her food? if you have a video camera set it up in kitchen and leave it on to check which dog is doing check very sensible.also agree that while you are very busy 30 mins walk a day is not enough and you are lucky no other boredom type behaviour showing.If they get 30mins walk a day that means 23.5hrs in your house about a dog walker a few times a wk as well?

lydle3 Sun 19-Jul-09 07:25:45

Thanks for the advice,

She is up to date with worming (drontal) and just had booster jabs, so saw vet, he said she was healthy, fine weight etc.
Havent changed food.
I agree, ideally she would be walked more, at the moment that isnt possible but my husband is home in a week, so then they will be, but she doesnt spend the rest of the time in the house, i am home all day and they play in my large garden a lot. i dont keep them in when i am home. there are lots of toys in garden and they play with each other, running around etc.

I think i will phone the vet and ask, then if he thinks its a good idea take her in.

I am beginning to think, she just got lucky one day, then realised she was on to a winner. I will just have to be more vigilant.

We do have a treat ball from when she was a puppy, so will dust that down and fill it up when i go out, also go and investigate what else i can get at the pet shop today.

I do realise dogs by nature are scavengers, but seemed odd to start from nowhere.

Also i have been putting a wooden chopping board on the bin and she isnt trying to open it anymore. for now ........

thanks again for tips !!!

6inchnipples Sun 19-Jul-09 08:49:30

Its just a random suggestion (from someone who has a dog who will take things from the sides if given the chance or if not walked in the morning) Is there no way it could be the other dog?? I'd be tempted to try and set up a camera or spy on them having set the room up (leave something tasty on the side) For me i'd be very interested in what exactly was going on when i'm not there.

I had a 7 mnth old german shepard who i'd rehomed, he was a food pincher. I knew this and so i'd put a large birthday cake on top of the WALL units in my kitchen and he managed to eat most of this by getting up on surface and jumping up licking what he could reach. I was amazed (and pretty pissed off) at his determination.

Small dogs can jump considerable heights is there no way its the miniture thats doing it.

Just a thought.

Sympathise with how stressful it is. I have 3 kids under 5 and two dogs (one is an incontinent great dane) and its bloody hard work.

spugs Tue 21-Jul-09 10:28:13

MY parents dog who was smaller then a mini used to be able to get up on there counters, so it could well be the mini. Lucky you having a giant grin

DarrellRivers Tue 21-Jul-09 10:37:52

My sister's giant has emptied the fridge out on occasion if not closed properly

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