1. Hands Off The Bowl!
Never stick your hands or have your children stick their hands in your dog’s bowl while they are eating.
Never disturb a dog when they are eating. You can make a very docile and calm dog turn into a growling, snarling, and even biting dog from messing with their food. When you do that, you may make the dog think you are a threat to their food.
When you are a threat to a dog that means you are a threat to their survival. They aren’t growling, snarling, and/or biting because they think that their reputation will be ruined if you disrespect them.
No, they are growling, snarling, and/or biting because they feel they need to do that to protect their food and survive. You become a threat when you mess with a dog’s food and When you have your kids stick their hands in a dog’s bowl you are making your kids become a threat to your dog’s survival.
A better approach is to make meal time a training session, one that your dog will find not only delicious but mentally stimulating as well.
We advise our clients to use a LickiMat Soothers, or even better a Snuffle Mat. The Snuflle Mat is one of my favorites because it mimics the action of foraging, which all dogs do by nature, after all they didn't evolve with a doggie bowl.
2. Be proactive instead of Reactive
This simply means to prepare for situations instead of waiting for something bad to happen and then reacting to it. i.e, If you have a dog that you know is going to jump on all of your guests and act crazy then put your dog away when your guests come over.
It’s always best to avoid the problem instead of letting your dog jump on your guests and then scolding the dog for doing so.
You knew it was going to happen. Why even correct the dog?
You could have been proactive and prevented it versus letting it happen and reacting to it.
Better than scolding your dog and make it a negative experience redirect his attention with a Snuffle Mat, or LickiMat.
We usually keep 2 or 3 of them in the freezer ready to go for when we have guests over (prior to social distancing of course)