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Christmas and my fur babies(9 Posts)
Hi everyone ,
This year I'm hosting Boxing Day , we have two beautiful Labrador's. We are doing cheese / meat buffet on the table , anyone get any recommendations what I can do to stop my dogs from getting on the table without locking them out?
Start teaching them now? Start with less tempting things.
Practice at least twice a day
Don’t feed them food off your plate or off the table
And don’t reward begging for food
Do they just take food? What if you’re eating dinner?
Maybe practice them not touching your dinner. If they do well, once you’re finished they get some juicy hot dog or something else they love.
I may be speaking a bit too soon as we are such early days, but our puppy is 9 weeks old and already starting to learn that food on the table or floor belongs to me, not her.
When we had dogs growing up I could put a plate of food right in front of them though and they wouldn’t touch it (99% of the time) unless we said they could. It’s a big ask though.
Dogs are one of the few (the only?) species to comprehend that there are different consequences to their actions depending on whether a human is looking or not. I think having a dog leave food on a plate you have presented for a relatively short period of time while you are there, is an easier train then have them leave an unattended buffet for several hours. This will be compounded by the day being different to usual and being more exciting than usual.
Training rule 1: manage the environment so the dog is set up to succeed, not to fail.
If this buffet is going to be left without supervision then it is a tall ask for a lab not to go and help themselves. Especially as you are unlikely to train for that beforehand - is with all the people and food. Use a baby gate to keep them separate from the buffet.
If you are going to be in the room with the buffet all the time the dogs are then you have a better shot, I think. Then you would focus on training an alternative behaviour, such as being in a bed, and make that more rewarding then stealing buffet food.
Completely agree with Furious I would also question having them in the same room as the guests and the food on the day?
Have you got somewhere they could sleep in
their beds away from the party?
Honestly, I'd just put them on the other side of a baby gate. Otherwise you'll spend all day checking what the dogs are up to, rather than relaxing and enjoying yourself.
Even dogs who are normally very good with food will take liberties when the opportunity presents itself - mine normally has very good food manners, but even he helped himself when DF left an open packet of ham unattended on the floor by the front door 🤦♀️ (it was DF that got the telling off, not DDog!)
Thanks everyone for your replies , we have a baby gate in our kitchen which we use when we are having our meals , never do we give them our food and like to reward them with good behaviour.
It's just where the food is going to be out all day I know they will be the gate whimpering with also 10 people coming over which they are not used too I'm just worried it's all going to be too much for them
Could you organise it so that the buffet is on one side of the baby gate, and the dogs and humans who aren't actively eating the buffet are on the other side?
Can you get them a frozen kong or a new antler for the day? Something that they'll spend a long time on (does such a treat exist for labs?) which will help to keep their attention from the buffet table?
Otherwise the best bet is doing what everyone else has said; keep the dogs from going into the room with the food, and make sure someone is with them as much as possible to keep them from being too distressed.
Put the buffet in the kitchen and have the dogs in the living room with you?
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