Good morning Sunny Sir. Can u explain the calming ritual before the food. My dog Steffi gets too excited before her food and keeps on barking till she gets her food. This barking is only till she gets her food. Plz suggest something as her barking is driving us nuts.
Food is a big reward for the dog, and the smell makes them excited as well.
In their natural habitat dogs work for their food but generally domesticated dogs are getting food without any work which is making them unstable, also since puppyhood, most people feed their dogs with a lot of excitement which creates an association of excitement with the food.
In the animal world, Excitement is unstable energy and no dog keeps the unstable energy inside(Unlike Humans), they release it most of the time through running or excessive barking.
Now how to correct a dog who is showing exciting behaviour around food:
- Stop Nurturing Excitement in him, not just during feeding rituals but generally as well. Whenever he is meeting or interacting with you with excitement, do not give affection or any acknowledgement.
- Be very quiet and calm during the feeding ritual, and perform the ritual from a training point of view, don’t be in a hurry, and don’t feed when the dog is barking because you are reinforcing the behaviour with every instance.(That’s how he reached at this state because his excitement is being nurtured since puppyhood.)
- Take him for a long walk before the feeding ritual, he should be tired and if he still shows excitement during feeding, take help from your family member in leashing him and holding his leash to stop his pacing.
Do everything from a training point of view, and if you get frustrated and start to feel anger, think that he is doing this because of the way we behaved with him since his puppyhood, He is not stubborn but it’s us who need to learn more patience.
Because our lack of patience is not just with dogs, we need to learn to be patient in other parts of our life, and dogs are in our lives to help us learn these crucial life skills.