How Do I Make Dog Mealtimes More Calm?

In the Office Hours, I answer members' pet training and behavior questions in live sessions, which are recorded and shown here. Please log in or sign up for a Student or Pro membership to see the video.

Dog training and care questions in this video: 

  • How do you make meal times less exciting?
  • My dog started "telling off" intact male dogs when he was around 2 years old. He has mostly limited this behavior to our neighborhood small dog park. He approaches the dog, freezes and then bark/growls lunges. Oddly afterwards the dogs always want to come back to him! Off leash is the main problem. I do my best to not to let him rehearse this behavior, but how do I handle this?
  • I am new to BAT but am reading through the 2.0 book and wondering how to go about helping my lurcher Ziggy. He seems to be a frustrated greeter with some anxiety, he is fine on a lead greeting older or disabled dogs, dogs that appear quickly, dogs from the side or behind. What he doesn't seem to know what to do about is dogs approaching head on. He goes into a low stalk position then lies down. When the other dog approaches he either jumps up to say hello or lunges towards it and barks I suppose it depends on what the signals are from the other dog. I am not sure how to address this using the BAT method I wonder if someone can point me in the right direction please. He does this off lead too.
    • Follow-up: He does have a really good recall but in this situation he seems overaroused and doesn't listen as well? Yes he's a small dog
    • Follow-up: I have done the scoop up and it seems to make him worse? The scoop up seems to intensify him wanting to get to them like revving him up.
  • My dogs bark at noises they hear outside when they are in the house. Examples: neighbors talking, car doors closing, kids playing....It drives me crazy! We have the dogs go their mat when they bark and if they do, they get a treat for being quiet on their mat. However, this has not decreased the barking. How do I recondition the desire to bark?
    • Follow-up: What if you don't hear the sound. Do you still cue mat and treat. Because I think my dog would figure this pattern out and want to bark to get the chance to work for a treat
    • Follow-up: Do you have any examples of sounds that are music but have background variation to help with the sound desensitization? Is Through a Dog's Ear a good one?
  • I know that you are a big believer in TTouch and massage for relaxing dogs. I have read that sometimes even a few seconds of TTouch can cause a dog to feel the need to move, since it creates changes in the dog's nervous system. How can one tell if a dog sensitive to touch is improving, even slowly? (It is not easy to apply the 5 second rule in this case.) Thank you.
  • Outside of times when people are interacting with a dog in a household, is it of consequence if they continue an oral dialogue with the dog?
    For example, outside of cues and letting the dog know, "A dog is coming," "We are going out," does it make voice interaction more salient if the humans do not just speak in general to the dog unless they are conveying information.
  • 1) What size bell are you using on Bean in your "Dog Collar Debate" video and does it impact his ability to hear you? 2) Can you discuss the relative merits/disadvantages of using a cued "go sniff" as other dogs are approaching in non-BAT scenarios (the ground, not the other dog)? I don't want to lose a learning opportunity but dogs seem more likely to ignore us in that posture.
  • What would be the down side to leaving a puppy with mum and siblings till 12 weeks old?

Links I referred to in this session (or could have):

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