How to Teach Your Dog to Be a Good Meal Companion


Thanks to coronavirus, more and more restaurants are offering outdoor dining these days, and many are allowing dogs to accompany their humans, as some traditional outdoor restaurants have been doing for years. You may have seen some very well behaved dogs lying quietly at the feet of their humans as they ate outside Panera Bread and other restaurants, wondering, “How do I get there? my Dog to do that? “Here’s how.

Teach your dog to be a good meal companion at home

The first step is to get your canine buddy to lie calmly at your feet while you eat in the comfort of your home. The mat workout is great for that. First, reinforce your dog by lying on a portable mat, rug, or dog bed Not Eat.

Connected: Mat training tipsDecember 2019.

Once she is comfortable with this behavior, generalize it by placing the mat in your dining area. When she can spend at least 10 to 15 minutes on her mat while you are nearby at the table, reading a book, or typing on your computer, add the eating portion – short snacks first, and gradually increase your food consumption to full meals . Ideally, your dog will only sleep while they wait. If not, giving her a long-lasting chew can help keep her happy while eating.

You want to remember to occasionally reinforce your dog to keep him on his mat, but you don’t want to feed him from your place at the table as this can encourage begging or behavior. Instead, let her stay on her mat while you get up, walk away from her, grab a treat from a counter or shelf (or even out of your pocket), and feed it to her when you are comfortable with her non- Approach table-side. That way, she has no expectations of getting treats from you while you are sitting and eating.

eating out with your dog
Photo: ablokhin / Getty Images

How to dine outdoors with your dog

Now it’s time to get the show on the streets. For the purposes of this article, we will assume that your dog is already comfortable and behaving reasonably well in public. If not, you’ll need to take a backup and start there. You don’t want to try and eat at a restaurant with a badly behaved dog! ((Please Note: It is never a good idea to take dogs that are reactive or behaving aggressively to public dining areas.)

Start with multiple trips to the outdoor restaurants of your choice and practice some good manners outside of the dining area. Take your dog’s mat with you and practice your mat behavior there.

If she gets along well with “Mat” outside In the dining zone you are ready for reality. Visit the restaurant of your choice, step inside with your dog and his mat (and chew for a long time if necessary). Choose a secluded table so you’re not in the middle of the traffic pattern. Invite your dog to lie down on the mat and sit down.

It should go without saying that you do never Allow your dog to approach, disrupt, or otherwise interfere with other customers’ dining experiences. If they ask if they can pet your dog, that’s up to you. If your dog may not be handling it well or you don’t want to disturb the calm of his mat, just apologize, but no.

Be ready to leave anytime your dog tells you he can’t handle it. (Let your waitress know in advance that this can happen and you won’t run out of bills. You’ll have to pay back immediately. Then put your dog in the car – with the air conditioning on while you run to pay back.)

Eat alone first so that you are not distracted by companions and can concentrate fully on your dog and his training program. Start again with light snacks so you can keep your meal time short. If, on multiple visits, she shows you she’s ready for more, work your way up with your friends to a full menu.

Happy doggie meal!

Top photo: FluxFactory / Getty Images

Continue reading: Here’s how to train your dog to walk on a leash calmly

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