Best Practices for Table Manners?

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Kike's Mom's picture
Joined: 2013-12-02

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Hi All,

I'm new to having a dog, so I wondered what the experienced dog owner suggest for standards of "table manners" when we are eating and the dog is not?  Also, how would you suggest teaching this to my little bundle of mischief?

Thanks for the advice!

Joined: 2012-10-28

Pet Profiles

this just my humble opinion, not an experieced dog raiser:

they eat after you.

 they can watch quietly from one place while you eat, ideally. never feed them from the table. if you want to give them something, put it in their bowl but make them wait, stay or sit until you release them to eat. you can do this with all feedings and treats giving. 

nilf= nothing in life is free... they act in acceptable manner or do a trick, they get a reward

all their food and toys are yours. you can take them away at any time. this will establish superiority. i regularily take b's bones right out of her mouth. then give it back or throw it away if its getting too small.

table and counter surfing is unacceptable. set them up and catch him in the act. your tone of voice when reprimanding make it very stern, differnent by far from happy voice when they are good

good luck

i bet kike is getting big

sorry typos my hand in a cast




talisin's picture
Joined: 2011-02-25

Yes, I always feed my dogs after me and never feed them from my plate. My husband does feed them first, lets them have bites from his plate etc. Now here is how that plays out in real life:

We went to a drive through with our rottweiler Ben and because he took up the whole back seat I was holding the chihuahua on my lap, we got some fries and something else - so I have my food and set it down in my lap with the chihuahua and laughed because I was eating in total peace while my husband was sitting there with two dogs begging and pawing at him for his food, the whole time the chihuahua could have turned his head and eaten my lunch, Ben could have just chomped and eaten it all, I even had to move the chi out of the way so I could get to the rest of my food. No one was paying my food any attention. My husband then says why aren't they bothering you? hahahaha well big duh there.....

If you eat at the table that's great I trained my whippet to stay in the kitchen while we ate in the dining room, he had to keep his toes behind the break in the doorway (hardwood to tile) that break was the boundary and he would lay there and watch us, then sometimes he could see my husband wanting to feed him and he would step over the threshold and I would point and tell him to back up and he would look down and back up just enough to keep his toes to the other husband thought it was punishment but we got to eat in peace.

determine your boundary lines, what are you comfortable with?? and begin just telling your dog and showing them at the same time you speak it what you want and they will eventually get that your dog will get it, show them while telling them the same words for the same action and they will get it......I could even point at my whippet's feet and say "your feet are over the line" and give him that mom look and he would actually look at his feet and back up on his own.....

Not sure how others feel about this idea but it works for me - I picture in my mind what I want my dog to be doing and I look at my dog and send that picture to them eye to eye and then I physically show them and speak the command....not sure if others think that works but it helps me train faster....dogs are so intuitive I believe they can sense what I am trying to tell them.....

PS. how I trained the whippet to stay out of the dining room was by getting up and gently physically moving him to where I wanted him and telling to stay there, of course a good stay would be best then that would be all you would have to do......but for us I had to move him back several times the temptation for the food was too great to stay without question, so get up move her where you want her, and keep getting up and showing her where it's acceptable to consistent with that if she steps out of bounds and you don't correct it she will push the boundaries all the time....teach her that you will out last her and won't give in.....and as she understands and you know she is just pushing your buttons you could try what I did that was to not look up from eating but to point and snap my finger and say back up.....the slightest move got a finger snap and sometimes a quick glare stare like mom would do....

Hope some of that helps I know dobermans think differently but this has worked with the rottweiler too and they have similarities

Kike's Mom's picture
Joined: 2013-12-02

Pet Profiles

Thank you so much for your advice!  

Kike is getting sooo big!  He can jump on the bed now, so we really have to work hard to train him not to.  So far, he knows that it's ok for him to be on the living room bed, where the cat also sleeps (although the cat now tries to sleep with me bc he doesn't like Kike) and he only puts his front paws on our bed.  I finally found a small spray bottle and am going to try training with water and see if it is more effective.  He still has trouble staying, but will at least wait to let me set his food down!

He's actually pretty good when we eat, he doesn't try to steal food (like one of my previous roomate's dachunds) and typically just lays on my feet.  

I love my dobe!!