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Old 12-15-2010, 08:43 AM
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Default Dinner Time - ours not theirs...

Hello hello! It's been a couple months, but I'm back with a question that's been bugging me as I plan for a spring pup.

I've done some searching about this, and apparently when trainers refer to 'dinner time', it's the animal's meal time. I'm wondering about training during the family's meal time...

I think I'd prefer (ideally) doggy goes to lie down while we're eating until afterward when he gets to eat.

How/when do you start training for dinner time with a pup? I don't necessarily want to crate the dog, but maybe I should while he's young? I understand food would be a pretty big distraction...

Thanks in advance... thoughts?
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:38 AM
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With Tucker we simply made sure nobody fed him during meal time (including right before during prep and right after during clean up) so he doesn't beg for food. He curls up on my mom's feet and sleeps or he just goes about doing his own thing. At first we crated him next to the table but that was for housebreaking, so he couldn't wander off to have an accident.

But if you'd like them to lie down somewhere I would set up beds or mats of some sort in the kitchen and train them to go onto them when asked. Then ask them to go there when you sit down for a meal. This will require you to frequently get up and feed them treats during your meal so that they are rewarded for staying there. If they get up up simply get up and ask for them to lie back down again. DO NOT reward them for lying down after they've broken their down, you may reward them again after a minute or so. You just don't want them to get into the habit of breaking the down so that you'll put them back into the down and reward them.

You could also teach them to stay out of the room if you'd like, again you'd reward frequently and if they walk in you'd body block them out. You'd just need a specific word meaning get out of the kitchen, and a word meaning you can come in now. Also a specific threshold is important so they don't start creeping forward.
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:53 PM
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When Caleb was little, he went in an xpen that was set up just outside the diningroom door (in fact it was across the one doorway). He would lay on his bed in there and watch us. Eventually, he ran right into the pen when he saw us getting ready to eat. I started leaving the door shut, but unlatched. When he got older, he was allowed to come into the diningroom and lay on the rug by the table. We don't eat at the table very often anymore, but, when we do, Caleb just plops himself down on the rug until we're done eating.
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:36 PM
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I trained Tempie to go to a target. This was just in normal training sessions. She was crated while I ate. Then once she had that down and I had increased her time on the target by a substantial amount, I started leaving her out while I ate. I would simply tell her to go to the target spot, then I would toss her treats while I ate. Now she lays there for the whole meal with no treats.
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:06 PM
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Awesome info - thanks for your time, responders!


My main concern was more during housebreaking - and the initial handful of dinner times when the pup is here.

Thanks again for your helps! Back to reading...


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