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Teaching Your Dog Not To Steal From Your Table

May 29, 2008
Understand your pet's behavior

It's not a secret that dogs, like people, eat whenever they feel hungry. However, many animals, with the centuries of experience behind them, don't see food as something permanent but act in a rather "the more you can get, the better" mode. If you notice your dog stealing from your table, it could also mean that she is not getting enough meals per day and is trying to supplement with additional "snacks". So before you start teaching your furry friend the polite manners, try to locate the underlining problem that could be causing this behavior and make sure your beloved pet gets an appropriate amount of food necessary for her age and weight.

It is all about discipline

Another important factor in combating this habit is discipline. Keep in mind that dogs remember your wishes much quicker and easier if it's accompanied by a treat. The table is often viewed by dogs like a huge bowl of food for humans, and you should keep it separate. If you only treat your dog once to your dinner leftovers, it would be more difficult to teach her not to steal from your table later. And when she does, you will be the one to blame.

Few things about Dog Psychology

The most difficult aspect to tackle is the psychological one. In dog's eyes, the whole family, including all "important" family members, dines at the table without any consequences. Why is she different? Also, the sight of chewing people could cause if not jealousy, then a sad feeling that she would also like to be a part of the festivities. So it might help to feed your dog before you start dining.

Important to be persistent

Research shows that it is best to make the whole kitchen/dining room a taboo area for your dog. It's more hygienic and much healthier for you and your pet. If she steps outside the tentative "border", give her a treat. If she goes in, gently escort her out to the adjacent area and immediately reward again. She will get the message very soon! And if your dog has a favorite place in the house, this could be the area to send her off to get the reward as well.

Important to start when they are young

For younger pups, it could be useful to conduct a will-power test. Place a piece of food on the edge of the table, tempting her to grab it. Then command her not to touch and reward her with the appropriate dog treat put in her plate. Younger pups get this message very well and you earn extra respect in their eyes for being able to control the situation and yet reward them fairly for their exceptional behavior!

Whichever method you choose, do not feel guilty. You are doing a good thing for your family and your pet. It is not healthy for your dog to finish your meals and beg by the table. Her dignity will be more appreciated if she has a good tasty meal in her own special bowl at her very own special place!
About the Author
Deborah Stanley writes for http://www.PetsReady.com - Disaster, Emergency Preparedness Portal full of Pet Care Articles, Disaster Preparedness Tips, Latest Food Recalls, Preparedness Newsletter and much more!. http://PetsReady.com specifically focuses on Cats and Dogs.
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