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Food orientated puppy!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by af2006, Apr 14, 2011.


  1. af2006

    af2006 PetForums Newbie

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    Hello everyone. I am new to the forum hope you don't mind me posting with a question straight away!

    We have a 8 year old border collie who is fab and a 5 month old mix of everything puppy. She is so food orientated it is driving me mad. In one way its great as we can train her with the bribe of food. She is always jumping up for food. I know we should make sure food is away but sometimes life gets in the way of this. This morning she ate my little girls breakfast as she was trying to eat it! I desperatley need some good tips on how to contol this side of her behaviour as she is going to end up with stomach problems if she carries on eating the way she does!

    Any ideas really welcome!!
     
  2. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    I have a very food obsessed puppy too. It has taken a while and huge resources of patience, but we have now trained him to go and lie on his bed when food is put on the table. We use 'away'. Until you can reliably stop him jumping and grabbing food, make sure he does not have the opportunity at all as I would think it is a very self - rewarding behaviour.

    I put any food in the microwave as Kilo can't open the door - he can open the oven and reach all the counter tops right to the back of them so that is the only place it is safe. If food must be left out to cool etc I shut the baby gate to the kitchen to remove temptation. I am working very hard on 'leave it' - he will leave nearly anything, but not yet food (unless he knows I have more food as a reward - in that case I can put it on his paws and he will leave it as he knows that a reward is on the way :rolleyes:).

    I also have a bin that locks, round handle on the small room where his food is and child-proof locks on the bottom cupboards.
     
  3. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Food reward is used to reinforce (increase liklihood) of a behaviour, or build a positive association to something else.
    Thinking it of a bribe will hinder your future training ability, so please try not to!

    I really think a 5 month old puppy needs more supervision, with young children in the circumstances.
     
  4. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Just a thought but has she had all her full puppy worming programme up to date?
    They can be more hungry if they have a worm load.
    Also how many meals a day is she on, It shes been reduced to 2 already she may be better if its split over 3.
    You could make her own meals last longer, depending on what type of food she is on, if its kibble you could mix it with some wet puppy food and pack it into a Kong so she has to work to get the food out, Or if she is on wet just pack a kong with that and wedge it in with a coiple of small biscuits like the gravy bones. You could do that once or twice a day with some of her allowance, or even feed some of her meals that way.

    You could also give her boundaries at your or the kids meal times, by putting her in a crate if she has one with the kong or a chew, or another room. if you make it routine, then she should gradually accept that she isnt allowed at meal tiimes, as she is given something too, it will not be a punishment just retraining you may even find she will anticipate if you are onsistent each time, that she has to do to her designated area or place at your meal times.

    As for the jumping up for food, you can train her not too, by teaching her to sit and wait before she is given any food, including her meals and treats. If you spend a few 5/10 minute sessions each day getting her to sit with training treats, then build it to a wait too, by at first treating immediately as she sits, then saying wait before you give her the treat, and gradually extend the time for the wait before giving it. You should find that she will automatically sit for food eventually as a conditioned response. Ive always taught mine that if they sit and wait or lay down and wait and dont bother us when we are eating, they get a tit bit each at the end of the meal. So thats maybe something you can aim for later, once you have the training and conditioned response to food in place.
     
  5. keirk

    keirk PetForums Member

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    The key is a course of "management" - basically limiting the possibilities of steal food, as this is a self rewarding behaviour. And "redirection" - giving the puppy something else to do instead of begging - like settling in his bed - and then rewarding with some food.

    My dogs life is a series of redirected actions to earn a reward. For example - the plates hit the table - he gets in his bed. He knows that the only way to get anything is to stay in his bed while we eat (pestering will get him nothing - you have to be pretty strict that no one rewards him from the table while they are eating) then he *may* get a little reward in his bowl afterwards.
     
    #5 keirk, Apr 15, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
  6. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Understatement! Most likely giving in to begging, 1 in 20 times, suffices to keep the annoying behaviour in place.
     
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