Proper Meal Time Manners
As much as we consider our dogs part of the family, meal time is still best when enjoyed with a bit of distance.
But how to keep your pet from begging at the table?
Applying some simple tactics to your meal time routine can really curb those bad habits and create a clear understanding of how to behave for company as well.
Below are some helpful tips from our friends at The Honest Kitchen:
Sit is Self Control
I teach my dogs to sit while I fix their meals so they aren't tripping me, knocking the bowls out of my hands, or jumping up on me. I also want my dogs to sit before I give them a chew toy or treat for the same reasons. Teaching a dog to sit also helps teach him self control; he can sit still and hold that sit until you release him. It's a great skill with many uses. The food, treat, or chew toy becomes a reward for sitting as does your praise.
During Your Meals
When you or others are eating, don't allow your dog to beg. Begging usually gets worse over time and you'll end up with a dog who isn't just sitting and watching you with big eyes, but he'll start nudging hands and arms for food, barking, whining, and even jumping up on people, chairs or even the table. Begging never gets better on its own and always escalates; don't allow it. This also means the dog isn't to be fed from the table or your plate. If you have some food you'd like to share, wait until you are done eating, walk away from where you were eating and have your dog do something for those bits of food. He can sit, lie down, or do some tricks. When I have a puppy or a newly adopted dog I put him in his crate in the living room so he's not isolated but yet also not too close to where people eat. After beginning the puppy's training, then I have him stay on a dog bed in that same location while we eat. If he decides to join us, I take him back to his spot. He's never rewarded when he comes to the table.
Just as changing our eating habits can be difficult for us, so is it when trying to change your dog's behavior around food. Don't get angry; instead be consistent, be calm, and be patient. You can help your dog but it will take some training and patience.
Does your dog seem to carry around leftover food and water in their beard after mealtime?
Keeping their face nice and trim can help prevent them from dragging their mess all over the place!
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