I am living with a dog that is always hungry.
We’ve actually nicknamed him the Turd Burglar because when no one’s looking he steals from the cats’ litter box.
Then he tries to give me kisses with litter stuck to his lips and in his teeth. Talk about gross!
I want to teach Ace to stay out of the kitchen. Since he has been on Prednisone he has wanted to eat nonstop. He’s started tipping over the kitchen garbage and checking the counters and table.
Before this medicine, he was not the type of dog to constantly be on kitchen patrol. He begged, but not this bad. He stole food maybe twice a year, now he tries every day.
In order to keep this behavior from becoming a habit, Ace is not allowed in the kitchen without permission. It’s really easy to set up an invisible boundary as long as he’s in my site.
Since Sunday he has learned that “Out!” means “get your ass out of the kitchen.” He’s not as dumb as he looks. He sits and begs from a distance and has only needed two or three reminders to stay out, at least when someone’s there to supervise.
Once Ace puts even one toe on the kitchen floor, I move towards him and say “Out!” Then he backs up and sits in the other room. There is about a 15-foot entryway into our kitchen, so a baby gate is not an option. I wouldn’t choose to deal with a gate anyway. Sometimes it’s a good option to confine a dog, but not in this case.
Now I just want Ace to stay out of the kitchen when I’m upstairs. When I’m downstairs with him, he sits at the edge of the kitchen and doesn’t enter. But when I am out of site, he thinks it’s OK to enter. This is because dogs are contextual. Another example of this is Ace’s behavior with jumping on the couch.
At my old apartment, Ace learned he could not get on the couch when I was home. He never even tried. But whenever I left him loose for a few hours and came back, I would find him sleeping on the couch.
Ace’s understanding was that as long as no one was around, he could sleep on the couch in my old apartment. I actually had to put my coffee table across it when I left to keep him off.
Now that I live in a new place he has not tried to jump onto the couch once. This is because he has no association with being on the couch here. It is the exact same couch. It is just in a new environment. I have left him out alone and do not have to put the coffee table over the couch anymore.
I haven’t had to worry about my couch in the last few weeks, though. Ace is back to staying in his kennel when I’m gone because of a recent garbage raid.
As for the catbox, you can’t get to it without walking through the kitchen and into the laundry room, which is another reason why the kitchen is now off limits to mutts. Ace is out of luck when he’s hungry for sand biscuits.
I have been feeding Ace extra food temporarily, until he is off the medication. Hopefully that’s making him feel better.