Why bother with kitchen & mealtime training?

Because you want to teach your dog not to be underfoot while you are busy in the kitchen, and not to beg for food or steal food off the counter or table.

Train for good mealtime manners when you have time for it. Thanksgiving Dinner, for example, is probably not the ideal day for dog training. On such occasions, crate your dog or put him in his confinement area with a good bone or chew toy.

While cooking.

Decide the following:

    Where will your dog be while you cook? (On a mat? On a tie-down? Lying outside the kitchen?)
    What will your dog be doing? (Lying down? Sitting? Chewing a bone?)
    How will you handle things like dropped food or food sitting on the counter? (Leave it? Using a baby gate to prevent his access?)

Prepare tasty treats to reward your dog for doing whatever you decided to ask him to do. Remember to reward calm behavior often.

During dinner.

Decide the following:

    Where will your dog be during your dinner? (On a mat? On a tie-down? Behind a baby gate?)
    What will your dog be doing during your dinner? (Lying down? Chewing a bone? Sitting?)
    What will you do if he jumps on you or tries to get food off the table? (Time him out? Put him in his confinement area? Tell him to leave it?)

Prepare tasty treats to reward your dog for doing whatever you decided to ask him to do. Remember to reward calm behavior often. Keep your treats handy so you can get to them easily.


After the meal.

    Assess how the training went.
    What did your dog do well?
    What needs extra practice?
    Is there anything you want to do differently next time?