Gifted with high emotional intelligence and adorable looks, dogs have easily become man’s best friend. In fact, these fur babies are so easy to love that some of you go as far as treating them as your own child. But regardless of whether you treat your dog as your best friend or as one of your own children, it is important to raise your dog equipped with discipline and proper manners.
Dogs are very intelligent creatures, but they are not born with self-control. It is very natural for dogs to be curious and be very invasive: sometimes, they would even steal food from the table or playfully take the snack from your hands.
But don’t you worry! With enough dedication from you and proper training methods, your dog can learn how to follow the rules and practice self-control. If you are someone who wishes to train your dog not to steal food, below are the dos and don’ts in food discipline training that you should know.
DO – Find Out What Motivates Your Dog
A motivated dog is easier to train: reinforce your dog’s motivation by observing what brings your dog the most satisfaction. Most dogs are highly motivated by food, and investing in the best dog training treats is always a good way to start.
DON’T Use Aversive-based Methods to Train Your Dog
According to a recent study, aversive-based dog training methods are not good for your dog’s wellbeing, and such methods also affect the dog’s response to ambiguous situations.
DO Associate a Cue word to the Dog Treat (or to Whatever it is that Motivates Your Dog)
Having the reward associated with a particular word will condition your dog to expect a reward every time he hears the cue word. Successfully associating a word to the treatment is the very first step in dog training.
DO – Teach Your Dog the word “Don’t”
Once your dog learns the word “don’t”, you can easily let your dog know his/her limitations and boundaries. These limitations are very important in letting your dog know what’s appropriate and inappropriate.
DO – Establish a Feeding Schedule
Following this rule does more than conditioning. Having a feeding schedule is a good way to make sure that your lovely canine doesn’t get too hungry. Hunger can make dogs desperate for food, which might trigger their urge to steal what they see on the table.
That being said,
DON’T Starve Your Dog
A hungry dog is a naughty dog, and dog lovers know that.
DO – Feed Your Dog Exclusively in His/Her Feeding Bowl
Feeding your dog exclusively in his/her very own food bowl gives your dog the idea that it is the only right place to get food. This is yet another method of letting your dog learn about boundaries.
Giving your dog training treats with your hand can be an exception to this, though.
DON’T Hand Your Dog Food as You Eat
Although this in itself wouldn’t trigger food-stealing habits, this act defies the idea that your dog can only eat in his bowl, and this can potentially ruin the feeding schedule you established.
DO – Get Your Dog Some Really Good Dog Food
This has more depth to it than what it looks like. Good dog food does not only satisfy your dog’s palates – it also makes sure that your dog is getting the right amount of nutrition he/she needs. It is worth learning about the best dog food for your fur baby since not all dogs have the same nutritional requirements.
DON’T Feed Your Dog Just about Anything
If you deprive your dog of good food, your dog is more likely to look for better food on the table and kitchen counters.
Additional Tips for Dog Training:
- Whenever you are training your dog, make sure you have his/her full attention. Get rid of what may distract your dog from the training so that your dog can focus.
- Spend time with your dog and make your dog feel loved. According to some research, dogs that are stressed out are more likely to have behavioral problems. And behavioral issues may trigger food stealing.
- If you don’t think you have enough time to train your dog, it is a good idea to enroll your dog in dog training schools.
Dog training is indeed quite challenging, but it is fun and definitely worth the effort. It is a great way to strengthen your bond with your dogs – and a great way to show them your love.