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Must-Have Know-How On Your Dogs Meal-Times
One of the best parts of the day for any dog is their mealtimes.
Most adult dogs are fed twice every day (in the morning and evening) but large breeds may receive their food in one meal each day.
The most important thing is to have a routine. Your dog will appreciate a routine, and he may even come to find you if you are late with his food!
Your dog will soon learn how to sit and wait so you can place his food bowl on the floor. It may initially help to reinforce your verbal command with a hand signal to reinforce what you are saying.
Dogs will usually eat greedily, but there can be situations where they may express less enthusiasm about their food. This can be an obvious indication that your pet is unwell.
It may be a reflection of a health problem, or a specific dental problem, which may be indicated by the dog trying to eat gingerly to avoid the pain.
It could be (especially with a shy dog) that the room is too noisy or busy. Maybe there are too many people around which is making your dog uncomfortable.
Try leaving him on his own to see if this will solve the situation.
Dogs don't tend to be as picky about their food as cats can be sometimes.
Smaller breeds in particular may not take to the change of their diet willingly. If they are expected to eat dry foods compared with canned or fresh-cooked foods, they may be more reluctant as the latter is often far more appealing to your pet.
Establishing a routine.
As your puppy grows up, the number of meals which he gets will need to be reduced and must always go through the same routine from the start, so he'll quickly learn what is expected.
This routine should be the same at every mealtime, regardless of who feeds him.
Mealtimes are also an ideal time to teach your dog basic obedience training. The reward for sitting and waiting for food.
Call him clearly by his name. This helps him to learn its name, and has an advantage of encouraging him to come to you when his name is called in future.
Prepare the food before calling your puppy, so that he doesn't have to wait, as this can cause him to misbehave and start whining.
Barking and whining should be ignored, as he may believe it has attracted your attention, and has been fed as a result of its vocalisations.
Do not place the food bowl down immediately, instruct him to sit first. This can help you to keep control and avoid aggressive behaviour.
Repeat the instruction 'sit', while the dog sits waiting for its food, before placing its bowl down.
If your dog fails to sit, do not take his food away. Instead, just put him into sit posture whilst repeating the phrase 'sit' at the same time. Then place the food down on the floor.
He will soon learn what is expected every mealtime.
Amy Howells is the owner of a website dedicated to teaching you the short-cuts to dog training.
You can also sign up to a free e-course and discover the astonishing short-cut secrets to dog obedience training
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