A dog’s keen sense of smell and desire for ‘people food’ makes hanging around the dinner table an understandable but annoying behavior. Training your dog to go to a designated spot during the family’s dinner hour is also referred to as “Place Command”.
During dinner time, locate one place in or near the room where you will be eating, and make that your dog’s “place”. Do not allow him to come to the table while you are eating, but instead take him to that area designated for him and use the word “place”.
NEVER feed your dog from the dinner table and try not to use his name or interact with him during that time.When it is acceptable for your dog to be near you at the table, call him to you. When he is released from his “place”, make it a special event and reward your dog for having remained there for that period of time. This exercise will take some patience and commitment on you and your family’s part, however, once the dog realizes that rewards only come from ‘waiting’ in his ‘place’, and NOT from hanging around the table, your hard work will be worth it.
As with anything that you want your dog to accept, do not attach negativity to his “place”. Do not use it as a punishment or somehow relate to him that he goes to his place when he has done something wrong.
Obviously, it is imperative that everyone who interacts with your dog is consistent with the commands and behavior modification techniques. If one person allows your dog to come to the table, interacts with the dog, or worse, feeds him from the table during the training period, the exercise will be of no value and will produce much confusion for your dog.
Please feel free to call the shelter (208-788-4351) or email us with any additional questions or comments.