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February 27, 2014

The Windy City Bandit, Unmasked!

If you live with a dog, you live with a criminal.  Dogs are natural born thieves and many are accomplished counter robbers.  Apologists will claim dogs are not sneaky thieves, merely hungry opportunists. However, I recently read a study which demonstrates dogs are tactical when it comes to

If you live with a dog, you live with a criminal.  Dogs are natural born thieves and many are accomplished counter robbers.  Apologists will claim dogs are not sneaky thieves, merely hungry opportunists. However, I recently read a study which demonstrates dogs are tactical when it comes to theft. (Shocking absolutely no one, Dr. Juliane Kaminski, who conducted this study of food-jackers, has a Rhodesian Ridgeback.)

Dr. Kaminski’s study tested what influence light conditions had on whether a dog would disobey a command.  As it turned out, when the lights were off the dog were more likely to disobey a command, more likely to disobey it quicker and more likely to steal extra food.

If you’ve read this blog in the past you know this very same experiment played out in my apartment.

One night I heard a rustle and found Eko weirdly sitting in the dark

He did not come when I called and he sat perfectly still

I flipped on the lights and still could not figure out what was going on.  Until I saw Eko peek around the corner

Aha, the thief’s target!

I watched to see if Eko had the gall to steal the treat, but he didn’t budge.  I then turned off the lights and pretended to read on the couch.  And right on cue…

Mission Impossible

It wasn’t until I read this article I realized Eko had been purposely hiding in the shadows. As Dr. Kaminski noted, “The results of these tests suggest that dogs are deciding it’s safer to steal the food when the room is dark because they understand something of the human’s perspective.” In short, those sneaky pups plan and execute their heists with our thoughts in mind.  If they think we can’t see them, it’s open season.  Unfortunately, the study did not investigate the power of dogs to recruit an accomplice.

“Quick, while Will’s not looking, steal me a treat!”


I really need to start a section on this blog called “I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!” for every time I read a scientific study confirming the fact that Eko has been playing me for a fool all these years.  All I know is that I’m keeping my wallet in well-lit area from now on.

Comments for The Windy City Bandit, Unmasked!

  1. Emma says:

    You humans think you are so superior, but know you so well and we know every weak link in the chain. We are counter surfing pros at my house. We always steal stuff because Mom always does the same moves making it possible. Humans never learn. Keep up the good work, Eko!

  2. PigLove says:

    Way to go Eko!! This explains how one night I busted out of my bedroom in the middle of the night, slowly snuck into the forbidden kitchen and opened up the freezer door. Mom caught me in there a few minutes later eating ice. Pig busted! XOXO – Bacon
    P.S. Eko, I think we would make a great caper team. Just think of the endless possibilities if we lived closer to each other – evil snorts.

  3. Victoria says:

    At my house i am the accomplice so that doesn’t work well for the rest of the house.- i do help them get treats when its late at night and everyone else is asleep so that lights out -its dark and no one will see us theory is dead on.

  4. Hmmm… interesting… Dottie steals things in broad daylight but makes sure your back is turned first!

  5. Great advice, I will close the shutters immediately. I think it’s more thrilling to steal in the dark :o) pic #4 is priceless!

  6. raisingdaisy says:

    Haha Daisy does the same thing! She sits statue-still when planning her sneak attack until she knows (or thinks) we’re not looking, and that’s when the strike occurs! 😀

  7. And you are marrying the thief’s accomplice? 😉

  8. writetowag says:

    Oh yeah…my baby boy knows all too well…Trev will take his crackers during snack time…but in Trev’s defense the baby does kinda tease him with it…will be posting about that soon…

  9. Hehehe whee piggies are pretty similar. Mummy once left the bag of hay next to our cage and sat there all evening with us not doing anything and then she turned out the light to go off to bed. However she heard a rustling and went back to investigate. Switching the light on she discovered Basil had broken out of his cage and was trying to pull the bag of hay into the cage. She now has to lock his cage with a bag tie over night to keep him out of mischief!

    You hoomans just think you know how clever whee furries are!

    Nacho, Noah, Buddy & Basil

  10. Steven/Buddy says:

    Eko & Will
    Till this day I don’t know how my one dog did this ?
    We went to run some arrands, I had some lollipops dog treats in my glove box, I went in the store for only 5 mins, when I came out Brandy had the glove box door opened and the bag of treats all gone ?
    To open it, you have to lift the handle ?
    Or the time Brandy played me, she was eating a rawhide, and I thought she had part of it stuck in her throat, so I got up to call her to drink some water ? So I thought ?
    I didn’t her her cough any more, I turn around and there she was, eating the rest of my sandwich I put down on the table to coach her to her water bowl. I had to laugh .


  11. Mags Corner says:

    And who says dogs don’t think? Probably good thinking on keeping your wallet in a lighted room or Eko may be running off to buy his own treats. lol Hugs and nose kisses

  12. Boomdeeadda says:

    LOL, I do agree, they can totally be sneaky. Just today I was reading how Clowie pretended to have a sore paw so that the walk was cancelled and once home ran to the kitchen to watch the pheasant back…LOL

  13. Miranda says:

    Well, well, aren’t dogs smarty pants! I love learning about how their brains work, and find joy (though sometimes that joy leads to stolen food, apparently!) they take their cues from us.

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