Dogs live in a world where they understand a hierarchy of leadership, responsibility, and privilege. When their perception of leadership is properly established, they will naturally obey the rules and follow the appropriate protocols.
When it comes to food, a “follower dog” would never think of challenging the “leader dog” for their food. Because they equate leadership with power, safety, and strength; challenging the leader for their food would only end up in a very bad situation for them. I could end up from a few cuts and bruises to complete ostracization from the pack. None of this is worth a piece of food.
The problem is that we often give our dogs signals that it is OK to go for the food. We give off signals that “we don’t want the food anymore”. It is no longer our food, so they can have it. Remember, we don’t know we are doing this and, in reality, still want the food.
Our dog “swoops in” thinking he has the “green light” and that is where the problems start to escalate. Robin and I have a great dog training article that explains where the disconnect is taking place and what you can do to easily remedy the situation. Please take a look at our dog training article titled “How Can I Stop My Dog from Counter Surfing and Stealing Food”.