One morning, while getting ready for work, I was in my kitchen toasting a bagel for breakfast. Chase was lying at my feet in such a way that I would trip over him with every move. After the bagel was sufficiently browned, I placed it on a paper towel and began spreading cream cheese on the tops.
Suddenly Chase was at the back kitchen door performing his “let me out I gotta pee” dance. Toenails tapping on the floor and back end of his body wagging violently, I squeezed past him and opened the door. I moved to the side to let him pass. No movement. I turned around. No dog. I returned to the counter. No bagel.
The devious dog had tricked me! I found him huddling under the dining room table with my bagel between his paws. Determined not to reward him for his counter surfing activities, I snatched the bagel away and deposited it in the trash can.
This was just the beginning of more complex sneaky behavior. I didn’t fall for the back door trick again but he did use it an additional time on my roommate with much success. He used an alternative form of the technique at my parents’ house by carefully snatching my mother’s napkin from her lap at dinnertime. When she got up from the table to retrieve it, he attempted to access her plate. Unfortunately he didn’t remember that there were other humans at the table too and his efforts were thwarted.
A variation was also used on other dogs. Two dogs…each with their own bone. Each should be satisfied, right? Not Chase. His bone snatching technique was quite simple yet effective. First he would hide his bone somewhere safe for future retrieval. Next he would race to the front door and bark violently at it. When the other dog would join him, Chase would race back to the abandoned bone, steal it and hide it. This technique worked every time.
Bad habits are hard to break, especially with a determined dog. And it all began with a bagel.