Hungry dogs are eager dogs. An eager dog can knock down a food bowl and an owner in one exciting swoop. If you’re tired of this happening at your house, put an end to your dog controlling how quickly you get his meals down and teach him to wait for his bowl. Even if your dog isn’t jumping to get to his food bowl but instead patiently waiting instead for his bowl before trying to devour your hand as you set it down, he can also be taught some mealtime manners. Train your dog there is a better, less stressful way to wait for his food as you prepare it and as you set it down. He can also use these new manners to control excitement over toys and treats too. Mealtime manners just may be your favorite training because it could mean no more jumping all over you as you make your dog’s dinner, no more tripping on a dog under your feet as your walk the bowl to his dinner table, and no more wet nibbles on your hands as you set the bowl down.
Training meal time manners teaches your dog patience. When dogs are excited, they show it in many ways. And meals are exciting indeed. Training your dog to control those impulses is not terribly difficult to do but will just take a little bit of time. You will be training your dog to put himself in a position such as sitting and using his manners until you give him permission to eat. ‘Wait’ can be a command for lots of different situations where your dog basically exerts his energy and excitement because of an activity about to happen. Teaching your dog to be patient opens doors for manners training across the board. Waiting for food doesn't necessarily mean your dog shows excitement later, but rather controls his excitement. Any dog in any household at any age can be taught to wait for his food, whether it's a treat or a meal.
You won't need much to train your dog to wait for food. Have some patience and a little extra time set aside before your dog’s meals to work on this training. It's best if you can train your dog in real life situations, so with his food bowl in place where he normally eats each meal. You will need his bowl and treats and some kibble for training. And for success, take the time to work together.
We’re working on her waiting until she hears the cue word, “yes” before she starts to eat her food. So far she waits, but when we say “yes” & even point to her food saying the cue, she just stares at it & cries... help!!!!
Also, how do we keep her from jumping on the couch without permission??
Hello Kortney, It sounds like she understands Wait but doesn't understand Yes - which is also technically a command that has to be taught. Outside of eating times I would practice tossing or handing pup a treat while saying "Yes!" happily. Each time she eat the treat when you say that praise her softly and genuinely. When she is completely relaxed and happy about taking the food when she hears yes, start using it with the meal practice too. When you say yes at the meal time she will likely still hesitate so pick up her bowl and bring it to her while sounding happy and excited saying Yes!. When she moves toward it to eat it, softly praise her to encourage her that she is doing the right thing. Focus more on her learning Yes right now then Wait, praising the Yes and keeping the Wait short and easier at first. Once she has learned Yes, go back to your normal practice. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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