ClickerSolutions Training Articles

Table Manners

I want to teach Monty some table manners. I may be fighting a losing battle as my husband insists of feeding him under the table! However, Monty does behave differently to me - he doesn't salivate whilst I'm eating - he does (copiously!) with my husband, so I may have a chance. I assume I ask him for a down stay when I sit at the table.

This is an easy one - don't use the clicker. Since click = end of behavior, you don't want him ending the behavior and getting up to get the treat. Just give him a spot to stay on, then toss treats constantly. Reward heavily at first, and you can gradually reduce the number of treats later.

I keep a tub of "stinkified cheerios" (in a container with stinky treats so they absorb the smell) on my kitchen counter. Brady has a spot across the room on the rug she *must* go to to get treats tossed while I cook. Dogs who walk around the kitchen and sniff underfoot get nada. Dogs on the rug get all kinds of goodies. She figured it out pretty quick all on her own. Sometimes she even gets a taste of what I'm cooking, which makes it really worthwhile! I never bothered putting it on cue - she just sees me step up to the counter and she absolutely *hustles* to her spot. Recently she added a "head down" on her own, so she's not just lying down, she's flattened to the ground! It's cute, and it gets rewarded, so she does it. So you can definitely expect Monty to automatically start going to his spot the second he sees you sit down at the table to eat, if you reward it consistently and make it worth his while!

Cheryl Jarvis
copyright 2002 Cheryl Jarvis


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