Holiday celebration – a fun and exciting time for all but if you add a begging, snack stealing dog into the mix it can be not only chaotic but embarrassing as well.
With the holiday season quickly approaching many of us are planning parties and ready to invite family and friends over. Your dog is part of your family and just like you prepare your children for these events you need to take the time to prepare to dog as well.
Sniffing, stealing or licking the edges of the platter are surely things we don’t want our dogs to do – especially when company is visiting. When company is visiting you’ll more than likely be busy and won’t be able to stand watch over the coffee table the entire time.
So how do you serve your appetizers when company visits? This is something to consider if your begging dog has become a snack stealer and thinks anything placed at his eye level is free game.
Start by practicing obedience commands on a regular basis. The basic commands such as the “sit,” “stay” and “down” once these are taught and learned your dog will gain self-discipline and respect you and the rules of your home.
Next teach him “don’t touch it”. Many owners teach this as a trick but you will find this an excellent way to keep your dog from stealing snacks or anything put at his level.
Start by putting him on a leash, let him approach a piece of food you have placed on the floor. Just as he starts to reach for it or is even thinking about it, say “No” loudly and jerk him back, give him the “down/stay” command. Once his attention is fixed back on you give him a “Good boy” and lots of praise. Repeat this several times.
Remember timing is important; As soon as your dog shows any interest in the food, correct him/her with a “no” and place into the “down/stay” position. Don’t wait until he physically has the food in his mouth or has knocked over the plate. Redirect your dog or puppy as soon as you’re certain he’s thinking of taking it, such as when he’s staring or sniffing at it.
Be sure to praise your dog when he uses self-control and remains in the “down/stay” position.
Once your pet will no longer steal the food while you’re in the room, it’s time to start stepping away. Practice stepping out of the room while still ensuring that your dog or puppy stays in the “down” position.
From there move on to train them not to touch or take anything placed at any level they can reach and by any person unless you give the OK.
This way rather than always having to make sure you or your guests keep an eye out for the snack stealing dog or having to place your appetizers on the tallest table possible, you can train your dog to simply not snatch them!
Keep in mind this is all accomplished with advanced training; the day of your event or party is not the time to start training a begging dog. Teaching and learning self-control can take some time but can be taught and learned making your dog a welcomed guest at all your activities.