Does the scene of the family sitting at the table to eat sound familiar to you and, swift and fast, the four-legged diner approaches, to see if “something falls”? The picture can be funny, but reiterated, it is not only tiresome, but also represents a serious educational problem. Relax, the habit is corrected. We explain how.
Understand the nature of the dog
It is said that to solve any problem, you must first understand it. In line with this reasoning, he thinks that dogs come from a hunting species and, therefore, carry in their genes the instinctive desire to provide themselves with food. Therefore, you will see your dog move his head, restless and attentive to the food that you put in his mouth.
Perhaps you have the hairy spoiled, because, of course, it is painful, while you eat, to see his sad face, his wide eyes and his touching whimpers … but, luckily, you are always in time to reverse his habits.
With proper behavior when you have visits from friends, you will no longer feel uncomfortable and with your soul in suspense because your dog begs or approaches the table from foreigners, to steal a piece of food. To some people it may seem like an impossible mission, but we can assure that the goal of teaching your dog not to ask for food from the table is achieved with education, be patient.
Better safe than sorry, but sometimes it’s so hard
As the ethologist Alba Benítez reminds us in her article “How to teach a dog not to ask for food at the table” , prevention is the best measure to avoid unwanted behaviors.
And he points us to a basic rule, which seems like a drawer, but that many people seem to forget:
- “The main thing, when teaching a dog not to ask for food , is never to give it to him . In this way, he will never generate the expectation of receiving it, and therefore, he will not ask for it ”.
It sounds great and it seems easy to apply, but in practice we know that it is not. But why do we fail, if it is so simple?
We summarize it briefly:
- Due to lack of coordination between family members ; some do not give food, but others do.
- For lack of warning to visitors not to give them food.
- For that of ” a day is a day and nothing happens.”
If we want our dogs to understand that they should not ask for or take any food from the table, we must be clear about these fundamentals:
- We will never give them food from our table, under no pretext and even if it hurts.
- We will ensure that no one breaks the rule, be it a family member, friend or neighbor.
If we follow these tips and one day we are caught off guard and we are permissive, the preventive plan A will be dismantled and we will have to resort to a reductional plan B.
3 tips to prevent the dog from asking for food
Some strategies are common sense but sometimes, out of inertia, they seem to disappear from our mind.
We remind you below:
- Ignore their requests
When your dog is barking and running around the table looking for food, try to place the dishes out of his reach and try to ignore him . Stand firm and play down their demands. If you feel weak and feel that he can “negotiate”, he will insist until you give him some succulent delicacy of those that he has in his sight.
2. Order and routine
Try to make your dog follow a routine in his feeding . If he eats two meals a day, feed him first so he won’t be hungry when he sees your table set. Another option is to eat at the same time , the furry in their bowls and the family at the table.
3. Orders, obedience and rewards
If you are eating and the four-legged beggar arrives, say NO! and give him the order to sit down . DO NOT! is no , and this should be understood very well by your furry. At the end of your meal, if he has obeyed you and has remained calm, you can give him a snack , as a reward for his good behavior.
After a while with this routine, your dog will stop sniffing the food on the table, and will wait patiently for you to give him the treat; When he gets used to being calm you will no longer need to reward him , he will find it a normal thing.
Another option is to accustom him to staying in his rest area. until you finish eating. The orders to get it must be firm and guided with some treat. At the end, we will go to the place where you are, calm, and we will offer you a piece of food that we will have reserved for you.
We will only offer you food scraps, suitable for your diet; To be safe, it is best to consult the vet, what foods he can eat and which ones he cannot. Remember that there are products that are good for humans but harmful for dogs.
The education is what you have, requires attention and some effort but ultimately is the reward.
Perhaps at first your dog will not understand why he cannot share the table with you but, little by little, he will end up accepting it and will leave behind the anxiety he felt every time he perceived the aroma of human delicacies.