Labradors & Food Addiction

Discussion in 'Labrador Chat' started by LabLoverofAZ, Mar 11, 2022.

  1. LabLoverofAZ

    LabLoverofAZ Registered Users

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    Here's the issue: I love Labradors. They're lovely dogs. I've never personally owned one, but my cousin has two that I just love, and she and I hang out together often so I've gotten to know a bit about Labradors.

    There's little not to love about Labradors, but if there's one thing that's off-putting to me is that there seems to be built into the breed a love of food a little TOO much.

    I've considered owning a Labrador one day, but I also have a food-addicted cat that's quite the trouble maker, trying my patience every day. He won't stay off the counters or out of the sink, multiple times a day he relentlessly dives into the sink to lick dirty dishes no matter how many times I spray him out of their with the squirt bottle, and he's even figured out how to dig trash out of the kitchen trash bin by pulling past the child-proof latch that the trash bin is behind! Needless to say, I've sort of grown wise to the ways of a food-addicted animal.

    I know that Labs are easy to train and eager to please, but I'm worried that if I have one, the dog may be just like my cat- good in the kitchen in my presence, but right back to being a mischief maker in my absence.

    Do you have any experience with a food-addicted Labrador? My cousin says that her Labs normally are good about not getting up on the counters or digging through the trash. I wonder how common it is in the breed and if there's a large number of dedicated counter-surfers and dumpster divers? Because of the issues I have with my cat, do you think I'd be asking for trouble by getting a Lab? I may never get a Lab, but I look forward to your answers for at least the purpose of learning something new. Maybe I'll hear some information that I can apply to helping my cat overcome his issues, LOL.
     
  2. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

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    With cats you have no chance, they just do what a cat wants to do You can't compare dogs and cats at all. Dogs, particularly labs are highly trainable. A lot of the behaviours you describe can be overcome with training and supervision. My lab is trained not to counter surf and is not ever in a position be able to access a bin alone. It is hard to unpick what is food driven and what is a poorly trained dog. My lab loves food, which has made her easy to train, a benefit for us. She has been easy and sweet. I have had other breeds that have not been food motivated and they are much tougher to train.
     
  3. Astero Yof

    Astero Yof Registered Users

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    Yeah I totally get that, my current dog, estimated mostly labrador, will eat anytime anywhere anything that smells edible. If she is not managed outside she will try to pick up bones, bread for birds, pieces of random meet for street cats…She has a great nose so often times she will pick up a scent of food underground and dig it up, occasionally will try to eat it. Thats pretty annoying especially considering her digestive issues, so I just keep her outside the kitchen and manage her desire to eat outside.
    Actually, I have read an article when looking for information about this behaviour in labradors, and apparently one in three dogs have this problem on a genetic level. They supposedly have a gene that makes them constantly hungry¿ although I would say, most dogs won’t deny a treat if one is being offered‍♂️
     
  4. LabLoverofAZ

    LabLoverofAZ Registered Users

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    Thank you all for your feedback!

    True, I can't train a cat like I can train a dog, but having a food-addicted cat that's very creative in figuring out how to steal food and engage in owner-absent behavior, it's made me more aware of the possible tricks a dog could use. I have to keep my cat shut in my bedroom with me most of the time, which is where I do most of my work, in order to keep him from causing trouble in the kitchen.

    My cousin has 2 Labradors, and the dogs generally don't try to steal food in the kitchen. I guess it's sort of hit or miss issue with Labradors?

    No dog is perfect, but I'd surely like to take out as much of the guesswork as possible.
     
  5. CeeCee

    CeeCee Registered Users

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    My girl is extremely food motivated, but has never counter surfed, never begs whilst we're eating (mainly I think because she has never been fed from our plates) and will not steal food if a meal is briefly left unattended on a coffee table. She does, however, like to be a ''kitchen hand'' in the hopes that a morsel will fall on the floor when I'm cooking and she does stick her head in the dishwasher when I'm stacking it with used plates. I don't have a problem with her kitchen hand duties and she will leave the kitchen when asked. I do have to watch her when out on walks but she will generally leave things alone when I growl and say 'leave it'. She does ''clean'' my friend's dogs' bowls when we visit, but there is rarely, if ever, anything in them, but she never fails to check.
     

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