How to keep Your pet dog Calm before meals – 3 Commands

3 basic obedience commands that come in helpful for my raw-fed dogs

When my dogs Missy & Buzz came into my life at just 8 weeks of age, I right away started working on basic obedience commands with them.

I wanted my dogs to be as well behaved as possible ideal from the get-go. The pups learned how to sit, lie down, stay and leave things they weren’t meant to be chewing within the first few months.

Most importantly, considering that we incorporated those commands around their mealtimes, they got to associate polite behavior with the reward of being fed.

I had seen some videos of incredibly unruly dogs who went bonkers whenever their food was being dished out. I was figured out not to allow that kind of behavior with my guys.

Back then, they were on a kibble and wet food diet. now that their diet consists of raw meat, it’s a lot a lot more enticing than dry pet dog food. I’m extra thankful for well behaved pups whenever I get ready to pull their meals from the fridge.

Here are some ideas on how to keep your pet dog calm before meals.

How to keep your pet dog calm before meals: 3 commands

I taught the pups the 3 following commands with training treats. I’d either use small store-bought treats, pieces of cut up hot pet dog or string cheese.

I personally didn’t use a clicker, but I know of several people who’ve successfully used that method. It’s a matter of personal preference.

Command #1: Sit-Stay or Down-Stay

How I taught it:

I used 2 techniques to show the “sit” and the “down”:

a) I’d either lure the pups into the position I’d want them in with a treat and then once their butts hit the ground (for the “sit”) or they were lying down on the floor I’d add the command in a firm, calm voice and give them the treat.

b) The other technique I used was to simply take advantage of whenever the pups happened to sit or lie down on their own. All I had to do at that point was to dish out a treat and say the command.

Of course, that indicated that I’d be walking around our apartment or condo with my treat pouch clipped to my clothes, often for hours at a time.

But I was figured out to use their natural behavior in my favor as much as I could, and it worked out quite nicely!

How I use down-stay in our feeding routine:

I’ll put the pups into a “sit” or a “down” position ideal before I start putting their raw meals together.

They will usually sit or lie down at the threshold between the living room and the kitchen and wait patiently for my release for them to go eat.

I’ll admit that every now and then they do break their “stay” position and tiptoe into the kitchen while I’m still preparing their food.

This normally happens when I’m pulling something extra delicious out of the fridge, like green tripe for example…that stuff IS extra smelly and incredibly enticing.

I don’t make a big deal out of it whenever it happens. I will right them by putting them back into their previous positions and remind them what I expect with another “stay” command in my “I indicate business” voice.

Note that this doesn’t indicate that I start yelling the command, I just say it extra firmly.

Command #2: release with “OK!”

How I taught it:

The release command allows the pups to break from whichever position they were in. I taught it by moving away from the pups while they’re still in a “sit” or a “down,” and switching from the firm voice to an excited, happy, upbeat voice.

As soon as they moved, I’d say “ok puppies!” and reward them with a treat.

You can use whichever command you want your dogs to associate their release cue with. It doesn’t have to be “ok”, but could be anything like “go” or “enough” or “bananas” if that’s what you wanted to use.

Some pet dog trainers like not to use the word “ok” for release purposes because it’s used so much in our language. Some dogs get confused about when it’s indicated for them.

I personally didn’t find out about this training secret until after I had already taught the pups our “ok” release, so I didn’t end up retraining them. So far, it has worked out nicely for us – maybe because I use it along with the word “puppies” ideal after.

How I use it in our feeding routine:

Once I’ve prepared their meals, carried them over into the area of the kitchen where the pups eat, and placed them on the floor, I wait a few seconds and then say “Ok, puppies, go eat” in my delighted voice.

As soon as I’ve released them, they can’t get to their respective bowls fast enough to devour their raw meals. That’s their very own pot of gold at the end of our patience game!

Command #3: Leave It

How I taught it:

I’d let the pups play with a toy and then offer them a high value treat like cut up hot pet dog that would lure them to drop the toy. As soon as they dropped it, I’d say “Leave it” and reward them with the treat.

How I use it in our feeding routine:

I use the ”leave it” command on those days when I get our shipment of different raw food cuts from Raw Feeding Miami and am busy cutting up meat and filling food storage containers.

I’m a bit on the clumsy side and will unavoidably drop some of whatever I’m cutting up. Whenever that happens, the “leave it” comes in incredibly helpful and both pups are really good about respecting it.

I reward their compliance by giving them a taste of whatever arrived on the floor ?

I also use the “leave it” command when the pups get ready to dig into a special treat in their crates. I’ll ask them to sit or lie down, then I’ll place the treat in front of them while asking them to “leave it.” It’s a good way of practicing our polite doggie skills.

The picture below shows the pups “leaving” their beef trachea/boiled egg treat that I put together for them.

How to keep your pet dog calm before meals: Consistency is key

The keys to pet dog training are consistency, patience and ending on a positive note. Whenever I attempted to practice with the pups when I was cranky or frustrated, it was bound to cause a discouraging training session.

The pups would pick up on my crankiness and be testy themselves. So if you don’t feel up to it, go yell in the closet and/or wait for that mood to pass before you attempt any training. believe me, I’ve been there a few times!

That being said, training sessions don’t have to be incredibly long – a few short ones throughout the day will do just fine, even if they only last for 3-5 minutes.

I found that training the basics works best after having exercised the pups. That way, they got rid of any pent-up energy and were able to better focus on what I asked of them.

That’s why I would always start our daily routine with a 30-60 minute (backpack) morning walk, followed by preparing their breakfast once back inside.

The pups would nearly always lie down on their own because they were pooped from our walk, at which point I’d give the verbal command. I’m all for working smarter, not harder.

One last piece of recommendations is to make sure everyone who engages with the dogs is on the same page as far as training is concerned.

I made sure that whoever fed Missy and Buzz was familiar with our feeding routine. That included my spouse as well as our occasional pet sitter or pal who happened to be enjoying the pups.

Have you taught your dogs any commands that come in helpful when feeding them?

Let us know in the comments!

Please share this post with any individual who might need some help training their pet dog to be calm before meals.

Barbara Rivers writes frequently for That Mutt about feeding her two boxer mixes a raw pet dog food diet. She is a blogger and pet dog walker and maintains the blog K9s Over Coffee.

Related posts:

How to show a pet dog to go to her bed

Teach your pet dog the leave it command

How to stop my pet dog from begging for his own food

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post