2001-Thu Mar 23 06:23:55 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A: You have a couple of options to reward your pooch for staying on her mat. One option is to give her a long-lasting chew or a frozen stuffed Kong to occupy her while she lies on her mat. By placing her mat at the edge of your table, you can easily tie a rope on the inside of a Kong and attach it to the table leg (if it’s a sturdy-enough table) to keep her from pulling the Kong off her mat area.
The other option, which can be combined with the long-lasting treat reward, is doling out treats for staying on the mat. Randomly place kibble or treats on her mat area while she does the down stay. Keep her guessing when the next treat might come by constantly changing how long she goes between rewards, such as switching the time between lying down and getting a treat from five seconds to 60 seconds to 20 seconds.
If you’re like me and find the idea of handling dog treats during dinner unappealing, you may want to opt for less messy treats for rewarding, such as Cheerios or healthy veggie and fruit treats like blueberries or frozen green beans. You can also use the Manners Minder, which dispenses treats at the push of a button and can be placed right on the mat area. The Manners Minder includes a setting to allow for random distribution of treats on its own, which makes rewarding a down stay even easier. The more you practice, the longer time goals you can set for your dog to stay in a down stay before getting her reward; ultimately, you should work up to giving her the reward of a chew, treat or even her dinner bowl once your family’s meal has ended.
If she ever gets off her mat, stop all rewards until she moves back to her mat. Never reward her when she approaches the table or does other begging behavior; this will make breaking the habit of begging more challenging. Interestingly, dogs who are rewarded for begging only once in a great while will actually be more persistent beggars when trying to break the habit than will dogs who are rewarded for begging most of the time.
Watch Mikkel's video for more information on how to Teach Your Dog to Stop Begging at the Table.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily, please install the latest version of Flash.
Do you have guests coming over for the holidays? Sometimes we don't realize just how annoying some of our dog's behaviors can be until we see it from the perspective of company in the home. And that's particularly true with begging from the dinner table.
While you may not be able to retrain your dog in time for Thanksgiving, there are things you can do. Training expert Mikkel Becker shows you how to keep your dinner free of whines and barks.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.