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AIBU - Why should'nt I feed my dog titbits from the table?

(40 Posts)
DoodlePegs Sun 14-Dec-14 05:46:01

DH and I strongly disagree on this one, but I can't articulate why I feel the way I do about it.

The background:
DDog is a 13 week old large breed puppy.
I do the majority of the training and dog care (I enjoy the training, and do not work full time.)

What are your 'table rules' and why?

OddFodd Sun 14-Dec-14 06:12:21

If you feed dogs from the table they beg, you can never leave any food lying around and they might eat something that they shouldn't.

The question really is why would you? I can't see any merit in it at all.

This is why:

Plus they will always learn to beg as OddFodd says, and will know that your table = food for them. Your food = their food. No boundaries. You'll regret it later.

butterfliesinmytummy Sun 14-Dec-14 06:26:28

We never feed our dog from the table. If she's interests in what we are eating and starts to sniff around, she gets a chew or a filled kong to keep her busy.

sunflower49 Sun 14-Dec-14 06:28:27

If you don't mind begging dogs, then why not.

Personally, utter soppy probably unreasonably so dog lover that I am, I can't bloody stand begging dogs. Our dog, I have failed miserably to retrain her to not beg and I reeeeeeally get mad when she's salivating at the table or at me every time I have a snack, it drives me nuts.

But I'm not you! Perhaps compromise and call the pup over to the table at the end, let her know she's to wait until you've finished then she gets a titbit. Also be careful what she's getting and make sure the titbits are incorporated into her diet so she's not over fed (not that I assume you wouldn't do that anyway).

MitchellMummy Sun 14-Dec-14 06:30:02

We never do it. IF we have something (say plain chicken) that is left on the plate then we'll feed it later, from the kitchen. Stops them begging (particularly with visitors). We also NEVER feed them 'human' food (unless it's something like plain chicken, fish or some veggies). They don't get rubbish human leftover (not there's very often stuff left on plates here).

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 14-Dec-14 07:28:31

Large breed dogs who are fed from the table will their heads in the laps of anyone sat eating at the table. If you, your family and all your guests don't mind fine.
Personally I love the fact that my dog who has never been fed from the table goes to sleep at meal times because 'the humans it round a boring table'.

DustBunnyFarmer Sun 14-Dec-14 07:40:23

Urgh. Just urgh. We used to have dogs when I was a teen and its as irritating as hell when they beg and hassle through meals. Large breeds often drool a lot when they are begging, which can be really off-putting for the humans trying to enjoy their meal. You can probably tell I'm not a huge fan of dogs these days. Feel free to spoil your cute puppy now against your husband's wishes. Just don't be surprised if visitors don't find it cute or remotely appealing when you have a huge slobbery hound sniffing around for treats.

DustBunnyFarmer Sun 14-Dec-14 07:43:15

Also, dogs hand-fed at mealtimes will not differentiate small humans (little children) & probably have no shame snaffling crusts and the like from toddlers. Big dogs with a lack of boundaries can be terrifyiing for small children.

Asleeponasunbeam Sun 14-Dec-14 07:45:10

All the above. And it leads to over eating as well as horrid manners.

I find it a bit harder at the moment as my 2 year old refuses to follow my dog rules and dog is a little confused. But he still waits to be told he can 'take' the little rascal's offerings from the floor afterwards.

He declines the vegetables too...

PitchWrapped Sun 14-Dec-14 08:27:31

Our dogs do nothing but scrounge and it drives me crazy. You will regret it later if you let her do it now

Asleeponasunbeam Sun 14-Dec-14 08:41:43

I did train mine at meal times. Using his meal 'rations', he got a piece of kibble for lying in his bed while we ate. First after a few seconds, building up to minutes and eventually the whole meal.

Bartlebee Sun 14-Dec-14 08:53:08

I can't bear scrounging dogs. Our dog never bothers us when we're eating because we have never given him scraps.

A large dog is going to be massively annoying if you let him get this habit.

TooMuchCantBreathe Sun 14-Dec-14 09:07:48

Our large dog sits with his head on the table whilst shooting puppy dog eyes at everyone. Our food is seen as his food and he be grudges having to wait until we scrape leftovers into his bowl (which was stopped a long time ago). He's well trained so he will lie down when told but he grumbles and groans and generally complains about it. No food can ever be left out, even an open bread bin means snack time in his head. Tbh it's a pita and makes meal times a drag. Oh and guests find his grumbling quite intimidating - particularly because he's the size of a small donkey!

All of this is the result of the dc "just giving him a little bit" when he was young. It's not something they'd do again if we had another dog or if they got their own eventually. They've seen first hand that I wasn't being mean when I constantly told them not to and understand that a "little treat" has left a lifetime of consequences.

AlpacaYourThings Sun 14-Dec-14 09:15:26

Quite a few years ago I had a large breed dog. When he was a puppy I made the mistake of feeding him from the table.

One day when he was about (7 months old) I was serving up dinner and walked into the dining room to find the dog stood on top of the table eating our dinners. He didn't even have the grace to look guilty.

To him our table = his food too. My mistake.

To be fair, he looked bloody terrified when he realised he had to get down off the table and was too big for me to pick him up!

Honeydragon Sun 14-Dec-14 09:16:00

My dog lies under the table when we eat. Doesn't move. We forget she's there blush she won't eat anything dropped if you tell her no to though.

If you're sat on the sofa with food however she begs. Ie she sits and stares at you intently from a safe distance. She is a Lab though. So if I tell her of she simply turns the other way, and peeks when she thinks I'm not looking.

I think on balance that if your dh hates feeding from the table it is easy for you not to. It's not a matter of who's training the dog. It's something you need to agree on not argue about for the next 10-15 years. And as her trainer you know the dog should work for treats, not be rewarded simply because you are eating.

Goldmandra Sun 14-Dec-14 09:18:46

Both our rescue dogs have learned not to beg from the table because it irritates the hell out of me when you go to other people's houses and their dogs hang around begging for food and drooling. They just go an lie down somewhere and ignore us when we're at the table.

However, I have had limited success in that DH decided I was unreasonable not to allow DDog1 to have scraps when he is packing the dishwasher. He used to scrape plates and pans into DDog1's bowl as he went back and forth which now mean that said dog follows you back and forth to the dishwasher, getting under your feet and licking the things on the bottom rack every time your back is turned. DH tells me he doesn't feed him these scraps any more but DDog1 is still hopeful.

When DDog2 arrived I made a big fuss so he didn't give her anything and she doesn't bother hanging around to get human food at all. Very occasionally I will allow her to have something as a treat but that goes in her bowl in her crate at a different time so she doesn't associate use eating or clearing up with getting fed herself.

Lilcamper Sun 14-Dec-14 09:45:52

I rewarded my dog from my plate everytime I got a desired behaviour like him lying down quietly. He now knows that that is what happens when we are eating and my DD can walk away from a plate in the middle of the living room floor and he won't touch it.

Food is food to a dog, they don't know the difference between 'human' food and 'dog' food.

DoodlePegs Sun 14-Dec-14 19:02:08

Fantastic responses from everyone.

Havr just realised that my op reads the wrong way round though blush, I am the one who hates begging, slobbering dogs, DH gets taken in by the 'haven't been fed for a month' eyes. Didn't mean for it come across as a reverse thread blush.

Now I need to try and hold my ground with DH and the inlaws.
The problem I find is articulating why it is such a bad idea. The mugging of the children may work as a reason though.

Any other reasons you can think of gratefully received.

Dancingyogi Sun 14-Dec-14 19:03:18

Agree that the dog in our house use gets fed leftovers so knows we eat similar food to him, but he never gets fed from the table, he gets ignored while we eat and after initial restlessness he settles done on his cushion. I detest dogs begging, I want to eat my food without hassle, if you don't mind begging then feed at the table.

Dancingyogi Sun 14-Dec-14 19:05:56

Kids won't eat their dinner as they'll prefer to feed the dog, as a kid I'd have given my dog all my dinner and you will have no clue how much they have given away.

Goldmandra Sun 14-Dec-14 19:08:46

Any other reasons you can think of gratefully received.

Any guests you have may be uncomfortable with dogs begging from the table.

If you make feeding them from the table acceptable, they are very likely to be fed things that are poisonous to them like grapes or chocolate by guests or children who don't know any better.

FiveHoursSleep Sun 14-Dec-14 19:10:58

Large Breed dogs who are fed from the table as puppies sometimes grow big enough to help themselves from plates if given half the chance. It also encourages food possessiveness, if they are that way inclined.

lljkk Sun 14-Dec-14 19:13:55

Scrounging behaviour would nark me off is main thing, but also dirty if food drops on floor or dog licks floor (what dog wouldn't accidentally drop some?) & unhygienic if dog licks your fingers & you continue eating. I am quite blasé about germs, but even I have limits.

Boomtownsurprise Sun 14-Dec-14 19:14:35

How is a dog supposed to know good food from bad food?

How will it know it's place in the pack and when behaviours are allowed (at least at first)?

How will children know what is good or bad? If dh can feed but they can't its weird. Either it's allowed or it isn't.

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