We recently adopted a lab whom we named Neptune. Neptune is a supremely well behaved dog. He is learning his basic commands well, he mostly just chews his toys and things we provide, with a few corrections necessary.
The problem is that his previous owners apparently fed him food from their plates, which is something we do not/will not do. We have tried ignoring his pawing and requests for food, at which point he will start trying to climb on us or attempt to steal food from us, especially our children. We have been having to put him in his crate or outside when we eat to eat in peace, but we would like an idea on how to train him to break this behavior. So any suggestions are welcome!
We have only just started clicker training with him, for those who will suggest using a clicker.
Personally, I wouldn't want to crate them to stop this behaviour, preferring to correct them again and again to show them "manners"
It's not a five minute job preventing bad behaviour, but I think that crating is just ignoring the problem.
It's very difficult when there are children involved, and you don't say their ages, but can you involve them in training their new partner and make it a family game to teach your new family member manners ?
Yeah, I know. We don't want to have to crate him or put him out, we want a way to change the behavior, but don't know how to. That's what I'm really asking for.
My kids are 3 and 5, and they have both been involved in training and exercising him. He listens to them when they tell him to sit and to wait and they both go on wlks with us a couple times a day.
So you are doing everything right ! Ignore the bad behaviour but it must be consistent - none of the oh we'll reward him for being good or the like and he will eventually get the message that he is not to beg or interfere with meal times.
Perhaps put him on a lead that leaves him remote from the dining table and ignore him completely. Make sure that he gets a severe NO when he takes liberties.
Redirect him with a chew or nylabone, and I would not be averse to a sharp tap on the nose when it presents itself where it shouldn't be !
I also agree that you're doing everything right. Although I don't think using a crate is a problem. Doggies can have a time out! just like children. Perfect time out during dinner and a nice nap :-)
Danika & Eva
Thank you both. Glad to know I'm on the right track.
I don't expect him to change overnight, but I didn't want to be inadvertently doing the wrong thing to curb the behavior either.
When my 3 year old saw your signature photo, he yelled "puppies wait mom! good puppies!" and tried to give the screen a pet. haha
I'd crate him during meals and feed him in his crate. He just needs his habits broken and replaced with new habits.
Alternatively, you could establish a behavior where he goes to a certain place when you eat (an adjacent room, a mat in a corner). You need to train for the behavior separately from dinnertime and then when he is solid on the command (go to the mat) you can use it in a variety of scenarios. Mealtime being one of them.
He should be rewarded and clicked for staying in the location you choose (other room or the mat) and you should work to extend the time he spend in that spot. Eventually you should be able to skip the reward.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.