I was on Marco Island last week installing a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® System for a new client and his Belgian Malinois named Murphy. My client lived on the water on Caxambas Bay and I installed the system so that Murphy would not go in the bay. It was a big project and took two days to complete; but once done, my client’s problem was solved. As I was packing up to leave, I noticed that Murphy was jumping up on the patio table while the kids were trying to have lunch. Being a Belgian Malinois, Murphy is a big, strong dog and the kids were having a very hard time in keeping Murphy from getting their hot dogs. My client turned to me and asked “Is there anything I can do to keep him from getting the food?”
As a dog trainer, I have dealt with dogs stealing food off the table for many years. As a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® System Dealer/Trainer, I have a great and easy solution.
Murphy needs to learn simple rules of what he can and cannot do. We have just finished teaching him that he can’t jump in the bay any more. We did this by introducing the tactile device of a Dog Guard Collar and the escalating deterrents of visual devises (perimeter flags), audible distractions (beeping collar as he approaches “no go zone”), and physical deterrents (static sensation as he enters “no go zone”). Murphy now understands that he should turn away when he begins to interact with these teaching experiences. He is now on his way to staying out of the bay.
Why don’t we create the same learning environment for the table? Murphy has already learned his lesson regarding these teaching experiences and his natural canine logic states that whenever he encounters these experiences, he should simply turn back. So, here is what I suggested:
- Dog Guard has a small transmission device that radiates a “no go zone” from the physical box creating a circular “Murphy-free zone”.
- Place the Dog Guard transmission device on the middle of the table and set the range so that Murphy cannot jump on the table to get food or on the people around the table to try and beg for food.
- Place yellow flags on the ground around the table at the point where Murphy’s collar will first emit the warning “turn away” beep.
- Put Murphy on a six foot leash with a family member. Have some other family members sit around the table with some food on the table.
- Slowly allow Murphy to approach the table. As he gets close to the flags, turn him away.
- After a few passes, allow Murphy to walk to the flags and get the audible beep. Turn him away.
- Allow Murphy to walk closer to the table to receive the static sensation and turn him away.
Because of his recent training of “turn away from the flags; turn away when you hear the beep; let’s not get the static sensation”, he will very quickly understand that the table is another “don’t go here zone”.
I asked my client to practice the exercise for a week with people at the table. After Murphy showed no interest in going to the “lunch table”, I wanted my client to increase the training level. My next exercise was:
- Have the Belgian Malinois on a twenty foot training lead. A family member will walk around with him, giving him “plenty of leash” around the patio area.
- Another family member will now come out of the house with a sandwich on a plate. That member will sit at the table and take a bite of the sandwich. Make sure that Murphy is watching this.
- Now, have the family member get up from the table and go back inside. (The sandwich is left unattended!)
- Allow Murphy to continue to walk around the patio area. Slowly meander closer to the table to see if Murphy will “go for the unattended food”.
- If Murphy gets too close to the table, he will get the static sensation. Guide him away.
- Continue to practice this until Murphy doesn’t want anything to do with the unattended food.
All we have done with these exercises is to expand the natural, canine learning process of “don’t go there” from the bay to the table. We have used the same visual, audible, and physical sensations to teach the same repetitive and consistent lesson. Dogs are great learners when it comes to this teaching process and Murphy should catch on very quickly.
Being able to have a comfortable meal on a nice day and not worrying about being jumped on while you are eating, having your food stolen when you step inside for a second, or constantly being bugged for a bite makes for a great time. We encourage you to contact us if you have any dog fence or dog training questions by clicking on Dog Fence Training Help. We offer a large library of dog training help, dog fence perimeter information, and canine obedience therory at Best Out of Sight Fence Trainers Marco Island South Florida. We have been training dogs in South Florida for the last eleven years and have successfully created over 3,500 well behaved and loving dogs. We feel that our Dog Training is a key component of the Dog Fence System. If you want to learn about our dog training experience, please go to Home Dog Training Marco Island South Florida.