Having a dog brings with it a world of joy. You have someone to cuddle with while you watch your favorite show and you finally have a member of the family who can’t argue back. But while having a dog is relaxing, for the most part, it isn’t so relaxing when they constantly pester and beg you for food whenever you sit down to tuck into a tasty meal. You just want some peace and quiet to enjoy every mouthful of that delicious snack, without the feeling of guilt you get when you look down at your endearing dog.
It’s all fun and games to start with, but you gave in too much at the beginning and now you can’t eat anything without sharing it with your canine friend. But enough is enough, you don’t want to share anymore and you don’t want guests being pestered for food by your dog either.
Fortunately, training your dog not to beg is relatively straightforward. It will involve obedience training so you can send your dog out of the room when you’re eating. It will also involve patience and some willpower not to give in to your doggie pal, no matter how cute they look. That means you will have to toe the party line with the rest of the family; it needs to be a group effort.
With a puppy, successful training can take just a couple of weeks, but with older dogs who have been begging for years, a few extra weeks may be needed to fully break the habit. But don’t be put off by the time it takes, it is more than worth it to have a well-behaved dog, who leaves you to relax with your food and doesn’t pester you or guests when you’re feasting.
Before you get to work with your dog, you will need a number of things. Get hold of some doggie treats or break their favorite food into small chunks. You will also need a quiet room, free from distractions.
Then get a leash and, perhaps most importantly of all, find all your resilience, a begging dog could charm the pants off even the iciest of souls.
Once you have all those things, set aside 10 minutes a day for the next few weeks and you’re ready to tackle your begging dog once and for all.
Our puppy is 3 months old and she only will sleep with us in our bed. She used to sleep in her bed ( which was right next to ours) but off late she insists on sleeping with us. No matter how many times we make her get off the bed she jumps back right in.
Hello, At this age you need to confine Merlo in a crate or exercise pen at night for at least the next six months, until she forms a habit of sleeping there. You will not be able to be consistent about keeping her off of the bed at night unless you stay up all night, and she knows this. Therefore, you need to confine her until she accepts that that is where she sleeps at night. If you wish for her to sleep in your room, then confine her in there and expect her to protest for the first week. Stay strong, that's a big indication that she needs to learn a bit of independence and boundaries. You can also confine her in another room. It might seem cruel when she protests being alone, but it can actually prepare her for handling being alone later on, which can help to prevent Separation Anxiety. Something that English Spring Spaniels can struggle with. If you have never crate trained her before and wish to use the crate, then check out this article on how to introduce it: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Fin has become a serious counter surfer. What are you suggestions for stopping this. I now work in an environment where I can bring him, but there is food around, and putting it out of reach is challenging - like 5 feet!
Hello Kim, You need to booby trap the counter. There are several devices on the market created for this. There are fake mouse traps that you can put underneath table cloths. They cannot close onto your dog's paw but they will jump up and surprise him if he touches one. There are also mats that deter jumping, such as Scat Mats. The idea is to make the counter unappealing consistently, even when you are not there watching him (you should be hiding close by though to pick up the food that he tried to steal so that he will not get brave enough to try again and succeed or the food just might be worth the surprise to him).You can hide nearby or set up a camera and spy on him from the other room. Make sure the food smells great but isn't where he can swallow it in one bite, so that if he grabs it, when he's surprised he will drop it. A chicken thigh in a bag with the bag opened for the chickeny steam to come out is one good option. A bagel with peanut butter between the pieces is another. You can also hire a professional trainer who is very experienced using remote training collars and set up a camera to watch him while food is left out. You can stimulate the collar from the other room to surprise him and catch him in the act as soon as he jumps up. You will need to booby trap the counter several different times on different days to teach him that the counters are never worth jumping on, and you can also use the collar at the office, if he tries to test those counters too. I highly recommend hiring a trainer for this though. Only a trainer who is experienced in there use will be able to properly fit the collar, and decide what level to use it on. E-collars should only be used by those who are qualified. Also, do not buy a poorly made one. Poorly made ones can be dangerous. E-collar Technologies, Dogtra, Sportdog, and Garmin are all well respected brands. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi, our not so little 3 month old GS is obsessed with food. I’ve managed to feed him at regular times with our Choccy Lab, and they now eat separately.
However, when my 3yr old or us have any food, he jumps up and attempts to snatch it out of hand, or if it’s a snack, he will jump onto the settee and literally eats it out of kiddies hand.
Hello Mel, First work on teaching Out and Leave It commands. For leave it - instead of working with him leaving clothing articles (like the article talks about) when he gets pretty good at it, practice teaching him to leave snacks and plates of food alone. Never give him what he was supposed to be leaving alone - instead reward with a different treat or toy. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When your son has a snack, I suggest having a chewproof leash, like VirchewLy brand leashes, attached to the wall using an eyehook, in the room. Put a bed or cot there for him and teach him the Place command and use the chew proof leash to make sure that he stays there when you cannot supervise also. Check out the video below for teaching Place. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Bertie barks and digs the ground around the hedgehog that comes into the garden. We don't know when it is there because it's usually hidden in the undergrowth. Bert will try to nudge it and bite it. But the problem is when we pick him up to remove him from the hedgehog, he bites, snarls and usually breaks the skin. Because it is always dark and we live in the countryside we can't stop the hedgehog getting in. Bertie has even escaped a few times through a dense privet hedge to get into the neighbours garden, who feeds the hedgehog. Normally he is a loving dog, but has always suffered from anxiety and fear from when he was a puppy, this behaviour was exhibited when we collected him from the breeder. What can we do because it's a nocturnal problem and not straight forward to prevent the hedgehog coming into the garden.
Hello Wendy, I suggest teaching an e-collar come (so that you can consistently enforce the command without grabbing him), commands like "Leave It" and "Out" - which means leave the area. When you are present, using e-collar training, give clear commands that you have already taught him at that point - like Come, Out, and Leave It...Save Come for when absolutely necessary and use the other two more since this will be a bit of a negative association. Check out James Penrith from Take the Lead Dog Training on Youtube and his videos on livestock chasing and come...your scenario is a bit different but the work that James does with teaching dogs to respond to command using the e-collar in the presence of other animals using working level (the lowest level that specific dog responds to) stimulation on an e-collar, is very similar to what you want to do here. You can also teach pup an automatic avoidance of the hedgehog - similar to how James works with live stock chasing dogs when no one is around. He uses low level stim, long leashes, obedience commands, and lots of repetition to teach the initial lesson about leaving the animal alone, when he is there to enforce the command and teach, then he also uses a high stimulation level when the dog goes after the livestock while he hides and the dog doesn't think he is present to enforce the command - letting the dog associate the punishment with his own actions and not the trainer. It's important to lay the initial foundation of the dog learning to listen to the person and learn that they are not supposed to chase/dig, so that when pup is corrected later when the person doesn't appear to be there, the dog associates the correction with their action and doesn't just become afraid of the livestock. I would also contact some type of trapper or pest control too to see if they could live trap the hedgehog and remove it completely if there are not many of them. Removing it completely would not only solve your issue, it would also be easier for pup than trying to avoid the hedgehog after training. Be sure to look into who is qualified and licensed to catch hedgehogs and if that is allowed in your state. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I used a blanket as Lucky's bed, but since he is used to going to the couch, he usually goes either the couch or the blanket, which I'm fine with. For the down-stay, how should I train him this? Should I tell him stay when he's on the bed, or should I tell him stay anywhere else? Also, our kitchen has sliding doors, so it would be impossible to put a dog flap or a piece of wood in between the crack of the door and the wall. His bed is next to the dining table but far from the kitchen. He also is very disobedient, as when I'm there, he'll go to bed if there's no distractions, but when I go into the kitchen or upstairs, he jumps off and darts to counter surfing.
For the bed and couch, would it confuse him to let him go to either one? I don't mind him on either one.
I want Lucky to stay even when I'm not present. Is this possible? We usually eat in the kitchen, which is far from the bed and couch, and sending him to his bed (I wanted to use bed) is impossible without pushing him back up til 3 feet from his bed. He would stay if we eat at the dinner table and our food is not too delicious to him, and also when I'm there.
Hello Kien, First, you can teach him to stay both on the bed or the couch. Practice teaching him the command "Stay" in general and then practice it in all types of locations, including the bed. "Stay" simply means stay in the position you are in - regardless of where Lucky is located, but for a dog to learn this you have to practice it a lot and in different places. Once Lucky understands "Stay" I would use the bed for meal times most of the time though. It sounds like it is in a better location away from the food but is still somewhere that you can see when he tries to get off of it. You can use the couch for other things, like when you are hanging out in the den and he is being pushy and needs to leave you alone. Purchase a chew proof leash that is at least five-six feet long or longer, like VirChewLy (You can also get a longer one that looks similar to this one if needed): https://www.amazon.com/VirChewLy-Indestructible-Leash-Medium-Black/dp/B001W8457I?psc=1&SubscriptionId=0ENGV10E9K9QDNSJ5C82&tag=lidotr-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B001W8457I Clip one end of the leash to Lucky and attach the other end of the leash to a secure piece of furniture (Like the dinning table if he cannot pull the table) or install an eye-hook in the baseboard of the wall and clip him to the wall with the leash. Give him enough slack in the leash for him to attempt to get off the bed but not be able to leave it completely (the leash should stop him when he walks off of the bed). When you see him attempt to get off the bed, hold the palm of your hand toward him like a stop sign and hurry toward him while saying "Ah Ah!", to remind him to get back on the bed. When you are not watching him or in the room, then the leash will do the work for you so that he is not learning to be sneaky, but instead is developing a good habit of staying on the bed. When he stays on the bed and doesn't try to get off, then toss a couple of treats onto the bed for him when you walk by during dinner, after dinner, during training sessions, or other times he is staying there - these treats should be his own dog food and he should only get food at meal times while he is on his bed and the food is his own dog food - not people food. When you are able to work on the "Stay" with him (and not in the middle of eating yourself), then you can help him get better at it by practicing walking away just slightly further than you did before. If he pops off the bed, put your hand out like a stop sign, rush toward him (so that he will back up himself and be a little surprised), while you tell him "Ah-Ah". When he does good and stays on the bed, then toss a treat onto the bed for him and practice walking toward him and away from him without him getting off the bed. Overtime, you should be able to work up to being out of the room, but this takes months of practice for him to stay there for a couple of hours whether you are in the room or not. Keep at it but also know that at his age, that is a long-term goal. The leash will help him learn to do it right now, while you also practice a really solid long-term "Stay" with him over the next year. A "Stay" that good is great to have for all sorts of purposes so I recommend working on it, but use the leash also right now since that will take time to teach him. you can buy an eye-hook at most home improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot. An eye-hook looks like this: https://www.indiamart.com/proddetail/eye-hook-11932940833.html Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My Buddy lunges at all children and attempts to bite them. When placed one on one with them he settles down. But continues behavior every time a child or stranger enters the house. Often times he growls and will not settle down.and has to be restrained. How can I stop this behavior?
Thank you for the question about Buddy. This issue has to be addressed by a behavioral trainer before it gets out of hand and Buddy bites someone hard enough to cause an injury. The fact that he lunges at guests as well is an issue that means he may be overly protective. In the meantime, maybe keep him away from kids - they may not know how to act around Buddy and set him off even more. Ask your vet for a recommendation. You will want a trainer who has experience with positive training and discipline with kindness yet firmness (being too tough may bring out more aggressive tendencies in Buddy). How well does Buddy know his obedience commands? I suggest taking him back through his obedience levels to reinforce his sit, down, stay, off, leave it, and come commands. Having these commands ingrained will go a long way to making him behave. The classes will also help to socialize him. While waiting to meet the behavioral trainer, you can look through https://wagwalking.com/training/not-bite-5 and https://wagwalking.com/training/be-calm-around-strangers. All the best to you and Buddy!
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We keep our dog outside the kitchen by closing the kitchen doors, but he either scratches or lays down next to the door until it opens. When we open the door, we have to slam the door before he darts into the kitchen and jumps on the counter, rips up the antifatigue mat (torn up long ago and is still being eaten, not torn).
My mom keeps telling him to sit while she cooks, and especially when we eat.
And my dad has a habit of yelling at my dog when he barks. The main problem is, how do I get MY DAD to stop yelling at him, and then get my dog to stop?
And while he plays, I noticed that he recently started jumping and biting more often than before, especially when we arrive home from work or somewhere else.
Hello Kien, First, put a bed like a Primopad from primopad.com or a cot type bed that is more durable, outside the kitchen, in a spot that is out of the way, where he can see what people are doing when the kitchen door is open, without being in the kitchen or in front of the kitchen door. Start by putting pieces of his own dog food on that bed. When he finds the food and eats it, then replace the treats when he is not looking. The idea is for the bed to become a very pleasant place that he wants to be. Whenever you catch him laying on the bed, go over to him and drop treat in front of him onto the bed. You want him to start wanting to be on the bed even when he is not told to. Next, teach him a "Place" command. Attach a leash to him, and hurry him over to the bed. Lead him onto the bed using his momentum from hurrying over that way. Right before he gets on the bed tell him "Place". As soon as all four of his paws hit the bed, praise him enthusiastically and drop treats onto the bed. He does not have to lay down or sit, simply have all four paws on it. If he chooses to lay down or sit, give him extra treats though to encourage him to stay there. Once he is on the bed, if he tries to get off block his way until he stops trying to leave or lead him right back onto the bed with the leash if he manages to slip by you. Every two minutes that he remains on the bed, give him another treat. Tell him "Okay" when you are ready for him to get off the bed after a few minutes, and encourage him to get off but do not give him a treat for getting off. Now, practice sending him to his "Place", rewarding him when he steps onto it and stays on it for a couple of minutes, and giving him permission to get off again. As he improves, practice sending him to him to his bed from a bit further away. Only add about a foot at a time though. Also, as he improves space the treats further apart, so that he is only getting a treat for staying on the bed for five minutes, then ten minutes, then fifteen, and so forth. Also, practice having him stay on his bed while you do things to distract him. Start with small distractions like walking a few feet away. As he improves, add harder distractions like jumping up and down, making noise, and dropping food in the kitchen. Whenever he tries to get off the bed quickly run toward him, blocking his way, and lead him back onto the bed. Tell him "Ah Ah" when he start to get off. Once he knows how to stay on his "Place", then when you are in the kitchen or he is trying to sneak in, open the door, send him to his "Place", and give him food stuffed chew toys on the bed to keep him from getting into mischief. For the counter jumping, you can set up a booby trap on the kitchen counter to teach him not to jump. Tie some thin but strong string through some metal pots and metal pot lids. Stack them precariously on each other on a metal sheet pan or something else that's flat and metal. Tie one string connecting all of them to something secure on the counter and tie another string from them to a piece of tempting food, like a chicken breast in an open zip-lock bag or a bagel with some peanut butter between the two pieces to add smell. Set the piece of food on the edge of the counter with the pots behind it. Let Lucky see you put it there, and then leave with the door to the kitchen open. Go into a nearby room and listen for him to trigger the trap. Be ready to rush in there to catch him when you hear the pots. What should happen when he grabs the food is that he will pull on the string attached to the pots to make them crash together and startle him. This should cause him to flee the room and drop the food that is attached to the noise makers. When he does this you want to catch him and pick up the food before be gains enough courage to come back to eat the food again now that things are quiet. The string that anchors the pots to something secure should be loose enough to let them all fall onto the counter but it should still keep them from falling all the way to the floor and potentially hitting Lucky. Set up this trap regularly until Lucky stops jumping on the counters. Also be sure to keep the counters cleaned off whenever you are not present and cooking, to prevent his theft and send him to his "Place". Once he learns that the counters are not fun you don't want food to tempt him to try jumping again without a booby trap set to enforce your training. To get your dog to stop yelling, your best option is to teach Lucky to stay on his place, so that your dad sees that Lucky can be obedient when told what to do, then your dad can send Lucky to his Place too when he is feeling frustrated and wants him out of the kitchen. Also, if you struggle to consistently enforce the Place command, then you can bolt an eye-hook into the baseboard by Lucky's Place and purchase a chew proof leash like VirChewLy. When you cannot enforce the Place command while Lucky is still learning it at times, then you can attach him to the eye-hook with the chew-proof leash and give him chew toys on his Place to focus on, to keep him out of the way. Ultimately, teaching him a firm "Place" command will be the most helpful in the long run but the eye-hook can maintain sanity when you do not have time to work on the training in the meantime. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Overly excited . Forget size and manners when anyone comes in contact with her besides myseelf
Hello! Here are some tips to help your overly excited dog. 1. Don’t Encourage Excited Behavior The worst thing you can do is to pay attention to an overly excited dog. He’ll just connect being excited with being rewarded. Instead, you should ignore him when he starts acting up. This means no stroking or patting, no talking, and no eye contact. If your dog attempts to jump up on you, immediately push him away and turn your back on him. 2. Encourage Calm Behavior Encouraging your dog to calm down is the flip side of the first tip. When your dog becomes calm and submissive, reward him with affection, lots of “good boys” or “good girls,” and possibly a treat. Ignoring excited behavior and rewarding calm behavior will send a message to your dog that calmer is better. 3. Wear Your Dog Out (and Possibly Yourself!) It’s easier to keep your dog calm if he doesn’t have sufficient energy to become overly excited in the first place. So make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. Just letting him out in the yard to do his business and run around won’t do. Your dog needs long walks to literally walk off his excess energy. 4. Provide Outlets Keeping your dog’s mind active with play can also help to reduce excess energy. Games like searching for a hidden treat, playing fetch, or running through an obstacle course are all excellent ways to stimulate your dog’s mind and drain his energy. However, you must set some limitations. This means that if your dog gets overly excited, the game ends. The dog needs to learn that if he gets too crazy, playtime goes away. 5. Keep Yourself Calm Most importantly, your dog won’t be calm if you aren’t. So, think about how you are able to correct your dog’s behavior. Can you calm your dog with just a few quiet words, or do you find yourself shouting “no, no” over and over in exasperation? If you recognize yourself in the shouting category, then you’re exacerbating your dog’s excitement. The only time you should correct a dog with a short loud sound is to get his attention if he’s about to do something dangerous like running into traffic. Be Patient Some overly excited dogs have natural high-energy levels. If your dog is like this, it can take some time before you start to see improvements in his behavior. The important thing is to remain consistent in your methods and not to give up.
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How to keep my dog off the couches.
Hi there! Thank you for all of the details. This type of behavior training takes a lot of repetition over the course of a few weeks. Every time your dog jumps on the couch, you give the command "off" and direct your dog off of the couch. Give a treat for calm, seated behavior. You can also put a command to a spot you would like her to go to. Like "go to bed" or something of that sort. Redirect her to her spot and give her a treat. You are going to do this on repeat for a while! But she WILL get it. Thank you for writing in!
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