Atrocious Dinner Manners
Hi, We have 3 dogs, German Shepherd Male 9 years old, 2 Siberian Husky Females 2 1/2 and 10 months old. A few months ago the Shepherd had to be sent away for 3 weeks while one of the Huskies was in season (early and now desexed). Since his return he whines (screams) and bangs at the door when we get their breakfast or dinner ready. Naturally this is being joined in by the Huskies. In the past all dogs would calmly wait at the door, sit while we took their food out and put it before them and wait until they were told to eat. For the past 3 weeks we have adopted the method of ceasing the preparation/feeding, walking away and waiting for the unwanted behaviour to cease before continuing with the preparation/feeding. However this has not helped any and the shepherd has now added jumping up at the food bowls when we take them out or barging into the house when we open the door. What would you advise we do.
ANSWER: Atrocious Dinner Manners
It sounds like his habits deteriorated over the 3 weeks whilst he was away, is there anything you can identify that changed? I would suggest that you ask for the help of a 2nd person with the feeding. Feed the Huskies in a separate area (away from him) for the time being. With the male dog you try and go out, he jumps, you go back in. Repeat as needed. Do this consistently and the jumping stops. Ensure that he sits before you give him the bowl ? and if he starts jumping pick up the food and remove it again. Do this is silence and minimal eye contact. If you have access to curtains, close them when he starts his attention seeking behaviour - but without eye contact and ignore him. Only when quiet open up and go out. It will take some time but you can convert this behaviour back to good manners. Eventually bring the dogs together again. If not resolved say in a week, I would seek professional help for a behavioural trainer.