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9 Real Reasons Why Dogs Are So Greedy (Updated 2022)

Why Are Dogs Greedy

Your pooch just finished eating.

But now, they’re staring at you with their sparkling puppy eyes.

As if they’re hypnotizing you to drop your pizza on the floor.

If this scenario is familiar…

You may have yourself a greedy Fido.

But what causes them to act like this?

Keep reading to learn:

  • 9 intriguing reasons why dogs are so greedy.
  • The greediest dog breed and the reason behind it.
  • If greediness is a mere instinct or simply due to hunger. 
  • Whether dogs share their food and why some defend it instead.
  • And much, much more…

Why dogs are greedy – 9 reasons


#1: Genes

Some dogs are so greedy for food.

They’re already done with their meals… 

But they still want a piece of what you’re eating.

Which makes you wonder…

“Is there something in their body that prevents them from feeling full?”

Well, believe it or not, that could be the case for certain dogs.

“Really?”

Yup. Scientists discovered a mutant gene called ‘POMC’ in Labrador Retrievers.

And it’s believed to be the cause of obesity in canines – especially for the said breed.

They found that dogs with 2 copies of the said gene weigh 8.4 lb (3.8 kg) heavier than Fidos who don’t have it.

While canines with only 1 copy of the mutant gene weigh 4.2 lb (1.9 kg) more than the others.

“So, what does it do to dogs?”

Based on the study, the mutant gene interferes with 2 chemicals in their bodies – β-MSH and β-endorphin.

As a result, dogs will have an increased appetite. And since the reward pathways in their brains will also be affected…

They’ll be more food-driven as well.

So, this is the reason why Labradors are so obsessed with food. 

And why some labeled it as one of Labs’ worst behaviors.

But on the bright side…

Their never-ending love for food makes them one of the easiest dog breeds to train.

Why?

Labs will do anything for treats. 

So teaching them tricks will be much easier than dogs who aren’t too food-motivated.

Note: Labs tend to overeat, so they’re prone to many health problems. For example, diabetes and heart disease. So if you have one at home, never open a ‘buffet’ for them.

Learn more: How to deal with a dog that is always hungry?

#2: Survival instincts

Next, greediness for food can also be an instinct ingrained in dogs.

Okay. Think about it.

Before domestication, canines live in the wild.

And since food is scarce, they’ll eat like there’s no tomorrow whenever they get a chance.

So, even if dogs have been living with us for many decades now…

That trait may still be present in them. 

And it causes our furry pals to sneak food from us or rummage in the trash.

Not only that but…

This survival instinct also urges some Fidos to hide their bones and treats. As well as store their stuff under the couch.

#3: Resource guarding

Dogs Are Greedy Because Of Their Resource Guarding Behavior

Now, if a dog doesn’t want to share food with other Fidos…

We call it ‘resource guarding.’

“Do all dogs don’t share food?”

Canines can be generous too. But a study shows that they only do this to other Fidos they know. 

So they won’t likely be up for it when it comes to strangers.

Well, it’s natural for dogs to defend their food and belongings.

But, some canines can be so overprotective.  

“What may have caused this?”

First is a dog’s environmental history.

For example, they might have been used to fighting for food since they were puppies.

So, they tend to be greedy as they grow up. And this is often the case for rescue dogs. You see, most rescue dogs turn out to be obsessed with food.

Lastly, they may have also inherited this trait from their great ancestors – wolves.

According to research, wolves defend their food too.

There’s even an area in their mouths called the ‘ownership zone.’

And they have an unspoken rule: they can’t steal anything in that area.

Warning: Resource guarding is dangerous. A dog may snap at anyone (even their parents) when provoked. So…

If you want to know more tips, read this article: 5 Reasons Why Dogs Roll In Their Food And Treats + 5 Tips

#4: Jealousy

Now, if there are new pets or humans around your pooch…

They can also become greedy for food or attention because they’re ‘jelly.’

“Wait. Do dogs get jealous too?”

A 2018 research points in that direction. Moreover, experts say that dogs act similar to kids when jealous.

You can often see this jealous-like emotion on these examples:

Your dog trying to separate you from other Fidos. And doing anything to get your attention back.

In anecdotal records…

Fur parents also report that their dogs also become aggressive toward their partners.

While other dogs sniff their humans more than usual. And this is probably due to the scent of another animal.

#5: Excitement

Dogs may also become more eager for food when they’re over the moon.

For example, if a pooch sees their human arrive at the door after a long day…

They can be so thrilled about it. So, they’ll eat or drink as if their life depended on it.

“What causes them to act like this?”

It’s no surprise that dogs may do some odd things when overjoyed.

One of those is grabbing something in their mouth. Say, their toys or any random things they find around them.

So, dogs can even do this to their food if their bowl is nearby.

But why?

They might not be able to control themselves at the moment.

Or…

It’s their way of getting people’s attention. As well as to express their excitement.

And speaking of attention…

#6: Reinforcement

It’s such a pleasure to watch our dogs eat heartily.

So, as a result, we may offer them more food than they need.

Or…

Give in whenever they ask for a bite of the burger in our hands. Then also provide them with attention.

But sometimes, this can also cause dogs to go crazy for food.

Why?

Remember, dogs are clever.

So if they realize that their greediness for treats is always rewarded…

They’ll seize that opportunity to get more food. As well as attention.

So it’s like hitting 2 birds with 1 stone.

Fun fact: Did you know that a dog’s face’s ‘pitiful look’ is due to evolution? Experts say that the muscle controlling this facial expression isn’t found in wolves. So they might have developed it while living with humans.

This expression and their puppy eyes make it impossible for us to say no.

And since dogs realized it…

They now use it to communicate with us. Most especially if they want something.

You might also like: 17 Tips To Stop Your Dog From Stealing Food Off The Counter

#7: Boredom

Aside from excitement…

Dogs may also display unusual behaviors when bored.

“Like what?”

Some dogs can even eat poop in winter because they have nothing better to do.

While others may suddenly scratch the couch or nibble on their fur buddies.

And the list goes on.

So if your pooch is bored and their bowl is always filled with food…

Munching on them will be their pastime.

Plus, they may also ask for food because they’re bored and in need of attention.

#8: Curiosity

“We always feed our dogs at the right time.

But why do they still beg for scraps when we’re eating?

Do they love the taste of human food?”

If you have also thought about this, the answer is probably yes.

Our food tastes different than their usual kibbles. So they can be more fond of it.

However, this might also have something to do with scent rather than taste.

Why?

Dogs have incredible noses.

VCA says that they can smell 10,000 times better than us. 

And this is because the area responsible for this is 30% bigger for dogs, research shows.

So this could mean that their ‘greediness’ is activated when they smell a new or nice scent.

Like what we also experience when we smell some freshly baked cookies.

And your dog might only be telling you,

“Hey, hooman.

What’s that wonderful-smelling thing on your hand?

I’m curious. Can I have some?

Pweeeease?”

Check out this article: 9 Reasons Why Your Dog Stares At You When You Eat + 3 Tips

#9: Social interaction

Lastly, your pooch might also beg for food, not due to curiosity or hunger…

But because they only want to spend time with you.

Eating together is a pack behavior. And also, most dogs want to be involved in whatever their parents are doing.

So if we’re eating, they may also ask for more food. Or join us in the meal like it’s a bonding time.

What is the most greedy dog breed?

The most greedy dog breed is Labrador Retrievers. They’re highly food motivated compared to others. And experts say that it’s due to the mutation in their genes.

Other dog breeds known for being greedy are:

  • Pugs.
  • Beagles.
  • Rottweilers.
  • Dachshunds.
  • Basset Hounds.
  • Cocker Spaniels.
  • English Bulldogs.
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgis.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.