We have a wonderful, biddable, kind black labrador who is amazingly patient with the children and pretty chilled (thank goodness).
He gets a good hours walk in the morning and then is in/out of the house in 3 acres of garden.
In the the last month, he has started obsessively scavenging: *following me round the kitchen whilst I cook *raiding and eating presents that contain food under the Christmas tree (we didn't realise it was food!) * tipping outside bins over * if kitchen is empty, raiding the bins and eating whatever he can * Eating off the compost heap
He has never done this before (he is three).
Any suggestions as to why he has started in earnest? It is driving me mad and making me cross with him, which I hate.
Now he's fully grown he's turned into a typical lab. Scavenging is what they do. If we had a compost heap my lab would think it was a 24 hr buffet . No point in getting cross with him, just make sure he can't get to stuff if you don't want him to eat it. We have a food waste caddy on the kitchen counter that he can't reach, no food goes in kitchen bin so he's not interested in it. We've got used to him always being in the kitchen when anyone's cooking or putting stuff in the dishwasher - DH let him lick a plate once and he's never forgotten it.
If our Lab is in the kitchen while we are cooking she has to go in her bed or be shut out completely. She prefers to Lurk in her bed just in case a piece of food somersaults way over the room out of hands and into her gob.
It could have become a habit with your boy - he's suddenly realised that these things taste nice. Don't get cross with him, put a barrier between the mumping for food and him.
Thanks for your replies - I feel like he is my fourth child at the moment and I need eyes in the back of my head for him, never mind my three children (2-6 years old!).
He has been on a calorie controlled feed for the last year so will try him back on a regular one to see if it reduces some of the issues (sadly since castration when he was very slender, he has packed on the pounds as he barely breaks sweat on a walk now! He used to run and run and never come back hence having the op).
We will also fence the bins and compost heap (and orchard, and veggie patch and chicken run...). You are right, the garden is one big canteen!
Every lab in the park mugs me for food - it's just the breed but I do think you should try to train him out of the behavior. My Dpup scrounges while I'm cooking, but only gets tit bits when sitting on his mat and he'll sit there for an age, waiting on the tiniest bit of meat.