It’s important our puppies have good manners when being fed. Firstly, to prevent them jumping up, knocking dishes out of your hand and also to teach them self-control and patience.
This exercise will teach your puppy to automatically wait for their dinner, until given permission to eat it. The signal that your puppy must leave the food bowl, is the visual of the food bowl being put on the floor. We are not going to say ‘wait’, ‘sit’, ‘leave it’ or anything else as we want our puppy to do this automatically and figure it out for themselves, like brain training for puppies!
Remember, you need to do this EVERY time you feed your puppy from a bowl, otherwise it will be inconsistent and they will never learn the exercise. Educate the whole family, and anyone else who might feed your puppy so they can keep it consistent too.
Food Bowl Manners
- Place a couple of treats (or their dinner) in the food dish
- Slowly lower it to the floor
- The moment your puppy makes even a slight move towards the bowl, lift it out of reach again
- When they’ve stopped moving towards it, lower the bowl again
- Repeat steps 2-4 until the bowl is on the floor and your puppy isn’t making movements towards it
- Wait no longer than 1 second, and give a ‘take it’ or ‘ok’ command which means they can now eat the food. If they don’t already know this command, they may need prompting by tapping the dish towards them.
Remember it doesn’t matter if your puppy is sitting, standing, or on their head whilst you do this, so long as they’re not moving towards the dish.