It’s essential that your dog puppy learns proper table manners if he is to become a good house-dog. This includes learning to give up his food to you without a struggle. He must also learn not to take food that does not belong to him. Training your puppy both aspects of table manners early on will prevent aggression over food or eating or not eating at the wrong time. Since both aspects go against the dog’s natural instinct, they are necessary lessons to learn for him when he lives with humans. It is often necessary for dogs to be trained against their natural instincts or they can become aggressive and even threats to their families.
When it comes to feeding time with your puppy, make him sit and put the bowl down. If he stands up, take the bowl away again, say “No” and tell it to sit again. Once he is sitting and the bowl is on the ground, then say to him “OK” and allow him to eat. What you are doing is teaching your dog or puppy that you will give permission when he is to eat. It may take a while; nothing conscious will get through for the first few weeks, but something is definitely getting absorbed.
In about a month or so, your puppy should have no problem waiting for the “OK” signal. While you are teaching him restraint, occasionally add food to his bowl while he is eating using your bare hand. If he growls when your hand comes near his bowl, say “No!” and take away the food. Feed him again at his next scheduled mealtime.
Once every other week, when he is in the middle of his meal, call his name to get his attention or say “No!” and take away the bowl. If he does not growl, add a treat to his meal and return the dish immediately, followed by saying “OK and “Good boy”. Once your dog or puppy allows hands near his bowl, accepts the removal of his food and waits for his “OK” signal on a constant basis then congratulations! You have been successful in communicating to your dog that he does not have to protect his meal as he would have in the wild. You have instilled in him (or her) that you determine what and when he eats and that you are the ‘leader’. You will find feeding to be a lot easier (he won’t develop ‘fussy food syndrome’) and he will also have more respect for you in other areas. Not only that, but your dog will be a lot happier too as it understands that you will lead him and make decisions for him, which is what all dogs, as pack animals, want their ‘leader’ to do.
If you want to master the simple skills of training your dog or puppy to be obedient and happy, click here