We have a very strict “no people food” rule in Foster House. This does not mean that the dogs never get food that people would eat – they get veggie Kongs, special holiday meals and recently in this heat wave, frozen yogurt-peanut butter & applesauce treats. However these special treats are always delivered in their own food bowls, or out of their own toys. It’s really more of a “no people food from people plates” rule.
It’s not so much the fact that we don’t want our dogs to have people food. Even though a lot of times, that is the case – some people food can be very unhealthy for dogs, and we want to be able to control their diet to make sure they’re only eating things that are good for them. However even more than that, we don’t want them learning where these yummy treats come from. If they get fed from our plates, or from the dinner table, or from the counter top, they’re gonna learn real quickly that that’s the place to hang out. They’re also going to figure out that if Mom or Dad turns their back for a quick second, it’d be really easy to grab a french fry from their plate.
At Foster House, this is why we have the “no people food” rule:
Yes, that’s our dinner, yes it’s take out, and yes we’re eating on tray tables in front of the TV (don’t judge us, it was a rough week). The point is, yes those are our dogs, laying quietly within easy reach of our dinner, while we were in the other room. Didn’t even sniff at it.
How do we accomplish this amazing feat? The main thing is that they just never get fed from our plates so they know that begging is futile. When Oscar was a puppy, we’d give him a Kong or an antler to chew on while we ate to keep him occupied. Occasionally if they start sniffing towards the plates, a quick “No!” then a redirect (usually “lay down”) does the trick. As with any training, consistency is key.
If you’re interested in adding Cooper to your family, please fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.