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Old 01-11-2011, 04:21 PM
Tofu Tofu is offline
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Default How to train dog to leave food?

Hi everyone. I have a very smart toy poodle. When I visit someone's house and they have a dog, they most often free feed their dog (have a dish of food out all day) which becomes a big temptation for my dog. So instead of enjoying the visit, I have to watch and make sure he doesn't eat the food. Sometimes I ask for it to be removed, but I don't know if that might be offensive to them.

How would I clicker train my dog to not go to food bowls? Or to leave a food bowl if he's already gotten to it?

Another dilemma that may confuse my dog is that we have an older rescue dog that is fearful and when another family member feeds her, she sometimes doesn't eat all of it and if my dog passes by he'll be enjoying another free meal.

Is it even reasonable to expect my dog to not eat out of it? I need to organize this so I can train him. What do you do?
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:43 PM
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Danefied Danefied is offline
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You might be able to modify something like this to suit your specific situation:
YouTube - Solving Counter Surfing- Clicker Dog Training
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:21 PM
Tofu Tofu is offline
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Kikopup is my favorite channel on youtube so I am very familiar with that video already. When we're home he will only do it out of my presence, when at other ppl's homes he has not yet generalized the behavior.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:39 PM
~Tucker&Me~ ~Tucker&Me~ is offline
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Hmm... It is possible to train your dog to not eat it it, but I am not sure if you are wanting to train him to *ignore* it. My dog has a great leave it command, but he will just stand there staring at the food and wouldn't play with other dogs. Since you are at someone else's house I am not sure if you are wanting your dog to play and be social or simply just refrain from eating it.

So my answer would depend on that
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:34 PM
Tofu Tofu is offline
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Originally Posted by ~Tucker&Me~ View Post
Hmm... It is possible to train your dog to not eat it it, but I am not sure if you are wanting to train him to *ignore* it. My dog has a great leave it command, but he will just stand there staring at the food and wouldn't play with other dogs. Since you are at someone else's house I am not sure if you are wanting your dog to play and be social or simply just refrain from eating it.

So my answer would depend on that
haha yes my dog does the same thing. He'll stare at the food. He knows his leave it but like the video link posted I don't really want to have to say the cue leave it, since I will have to be in his presence, but I want him to ignore it.

I actually would love for him to do both! I would love for him to not eat it (#1 priority) without me having to cue him repeatedly, but to want to socialize (#2-this would be the perfect dog) instead of just looking for food. :P
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:38 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Originally Posted by Tofu View Post
I actually would love for him to do both! I would love for him to not eat it (#1 priority) without me having to cue him repeatedly, but to want to socialize (#2-this would be the perfect dog) instead of just looking for food. :P
IMO, that's like asking a 4-year-old to ignore an ice cream cone somebody's giving him, and go play with the kid he doesn't know or really care anything about.

The only way this would work is if playing with the other dog is more fun than eating. For some dogs, it would be; but for the vast majority of dogs, it would not be.

I really think management is your only option here - either put the food away, or keep a close eye on your dog and make sure he doesn't get a chance to eat the food.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:33 AM
Tofu Tofu is offline
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Originally Posted by lizzybeth727 View Post
IMO, that's like asking a 4-year-old to ignore an ice cream cone somebody's giving him, and go play with the kid he doesn't know or really care anything about.


HAHA <3 it!

HE's 2.....so that would be more like a 14 yr old with video games?? :P Thanks so much for the comment though. I wasn't sure if I needed to lower my expectations (what u suggested) or if it is expected for most dogs to be able to do that. Thanks
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:31 PM
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For what it's worth, after telling Juno to "leave" the cat food and Lucy's food hundreds of times when she was a puppy, it is no longer an issue. I can be in a different room or leave the house, and she will leave a full bowl of cat food alone. She just eats the crumbs the cat leaves on the floor around the bowl.

I'd tell her to leave it, she'd comply, she'd get a treat. I suppose after doing that routine many times, she just decided to stop bothering with the food bowls anymore.

But management is much easier. Lucy won't leave the cat food alone, so we just have to make sure to put it up on the counter if the cat's not eating.
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  #9  
Old 01-13-2011, 06:59 PM
Tofu Tofu is offline
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Default Thanks for all the advice

Hey just wanted to let everyone know, even with just a few days of training, Tofu is doing great. Haven't visited other ppl's homes yet BUT when there is the other dog's left overs in our house he leaves it untouched!!!

I figured out what the problem was. The problem was that I was trying train him to STOP doing something instead of trying to train him TO do something. Now I'm training him TO be comfortable with food lying around instead of teaching him to STOP eating food lying around.

Seems simple but didn't realize it until I trained it more in depth. Now when he sees food he doesn't see it as such a big deal and we're not both eye balling it.
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