Freedom, my lab, like most dogs has the habit of getting into the trash regardless of the amount of disciplinary action my sister and I give him. My first instinct was that we weren't feeding him enough or that what we were feeding him he was bored with. By no means does my sister and I reward Freedom with human food/treats therefore, we couldn't understand his desire and need to rummage through the trash can.
Dogs, unlike cats, will eat whatever whenever they want. Rummaging through the garbage contributes to the cause of most unhealthy dogs often leading to serious illness.
Besides sneaking in treats, I recently learned, through many pet care books I picked up from the library the other day, that dogs rummage through trash to satisfy their natural instinct to scavenge, hunt and gather. This is a natural behavior, nature of the beast. This is why it is difficult to punish a dog for "stealing" food.
If you can't throw your garbage right away, storing it in the shed for a short period will spare the dog any possible encounters with rotten food that may make he/she sick.
Luv Sheila & Freedom (my black lab)
Please do not copy content without permission: orginally published on the petwellbeing blog