Does Your Dog Jump On The Table? It’s The Fault Of Its Genes!
How many times have you been asked how to make your dog stop jumping on the table just laid, in an attempt to fool some of the fragrant dishes that are waiting to be eaten by you?!
And how many more have you wondered if it is possible to teach the ladrupede (eheh, pass me the neologism, but it makes the idea) not to open damp bins or not to eat every residue of food that he finds around?!
Before we answer you, let’s see why most dogs show this kind of behavior.
Your dog is not a thief and the reason for his “thefts” is to be found in his evolutionary history. Tens of thousands of years ago, some wolves evolved in a different direction than the canis lupus (wolf), to become a different subspecies: the canis lupus familiaris (dog).
What distinguished the wolves ancestors of the dog from the others? They were less shy and shy than the others, so they found it less difficult to approach human settlements to get food by rummaging through the rubbish, than to participate in the traditional hunting trips. The ancestors of our modern dogs descended from these wolves: according to Darwinian theory, by mating with each other, they have strengthened this characteristic in their offspring.
But do we have to resign ourselves to begging our dog?
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Yes and no! Let me explain myself better. On the one hand, we can do little to prevent the quadruped, in our absence, to swallow anything edible and satisfy his palate in a self-critical way, precisely because this behavior is part of his instinct, and the dog is not endowed with a critical sense or a moral, understood in the human sense of the term.
On the other hand, we can teach our canis lupus familiaris to leave something he has just grasped with his mouth or, if he is about to do so, to point out to him an alternative behavior useful to avoid the onslaught of food not intended for him.
For example, dogs who beg at the table can be taught through a verbal or gestural signal to wait for the end of your meal by staying on his pillow or in a well-defined area, which you have established once and for all. If, on the other hand, you find too late that the animal has already put something in its mouth that you don’t want it to eat, the old but dear “Leave!” signal is essential. Personally, it’s one of the very first signs I teach dogs during classes, because I find it indispensable, and sometimes decisive, to protect their health.
In conclusion, do not try to change the instinct of your dog sweeper, you may go into frustration because you do not get the desired result, but teach him to leave on request or, better yet, to respond to commands that direct him to alternative behavior (go on his pillow, sit still, etc..).