How to Make Sure Your Dog Won't Eat Your Dinner

You're hungry. You've prepared a whole meal, lovingly plated and prepared. And then the dog eats it. There's nothing worse, but you can make sure it'll never happen again.


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    Before you attempt to correct a dog's behavior make certain you have established yourself as the dominant member of the family or pack. If you haven't established your control, you will have a lot more problems than just losing your dinner.
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    Never feed your dog from the table, TV tray, or from your plate. Even scraps. And do not allow friends, other family members, or guests to feed the dog from or under the table. This will begin a negative habit, one which the dog will not understand why he is not entitled to your food and also leads to begging.
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    If you and your dog haven't yet established dominance, this may be a problem area to begin addressing this issue. If you crate your dog, before serving your food, put the dog into his crate. If you don't crate your dog, place the dog into a tie down position. If you don't use a tie down, place the dog outside, on their dog bed, or in another room.
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    If you've established dominance, you can allow the dog to be in the same room with you but keep put the dog into a down position. If the dog begins to release himself from the down position, use a steady voice to remind him he is in a down. Do not allow the dog release himself from your last command.
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    As my professional trainer told me, you get the dog you deserve. In other words if you are consistent with your dog, and work with them daily, they will be responsive. Don't think just because your dog is trained, your work is done. In the wild, the Alpha dog is constantly being challenged so you need to work with your dog maintaining your dominance. Also a dog who is working is a dog who is not bored. A bored dog tends to engage in negative behavior, in part because you pay attention to the dog during that time period


  • Enroll your dog in an obedience class to open the lines of communication. Your dog will be much better behaved if you learn how to communicate what you do want, in addition to what you don't want.
  • Use treats for good behavior. (Except for this particular behavior)
  • If you want to go further than obedience training, you might like to consider a "dog listener" who can communicate with your dog and try to see what is causing the unwanted behavior.
  • Do not feed your dog chocolate.


    • Punishment is only effective if done with impeccable timing - anything after 3 seconds will have no effect on the behavior, as the dog will not longer associate the punishment with the bad behavior.
    • If you have punished your dog more than 3 times for the same behavior, your punishment is not working.
    • Do your research before choosing a trainer!
    • Punishing your dog physically can not only traumatize your dog, but make the problem worse. Do not hit or hurt your dog in any way. This is illegal in many jurisdictions but worse still, is a huge breach of trust of the common bond between humans and dogs.

Things You'll Need

  • If your training involves a clicker, you will need a clicker.
  • If you crate your dog, a crate.
  • Your dog's favorite toy.

Article Info

Categories: Dog Obedience