Dinner Time

Silas has never been really excited about eating. Ever. Even now, with his stomach better than it’s ever been, mild interest is the best we get. Silas has never done silly dog things, like try to climb my legs to get his food faster, or knock the bowl out of my hand. Those things take extra effort, and food isn’t worth effort. As a result of this, I’ve never particularly cared about what he did while I was getting the food ready. If he happened to be around, I would have him sit while I put his dish down.

At breakfast time, he sits on the couch and waits for me to call him.

At dinner, lately he does this:

Sitting for Dinner

He sits on his mat behind me when I start clanking his bowl around, and stays sitting until the food is just about level with his nose. I could probably teach him to sit until the bowl is on the ground, but it just doesn’t matter to me.

Every night I think, “Silly dog. Owners all across the country are working so hard to teach their dog this on purpose.”

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10 thoughts on “Dinner Time

    1. We’re really loving the mat. I keep some tidy, dry treats next to my work area and will toss him one for sitting there while I cook. I guess that’s how he learned this. He also just naturally prefers the mat to the cold floor, so it reinforces itself.

      The mat is big enough for him to lie down on, but he very rarely does. Too much going on in the kitchen.

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  1. Wow – he’s a natural!

    I have taught Blueberry to sit and “wait” until I give her the hand signal to go ahead and eat. It’s just one more way to get her to focus more on me – not because she’s particularly over eager about getting her food.

    I am in love with Silas’s ears!

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  2. He is just so cute! Look at those ears!

    I joke around a lot about Shiva’s food obsessions but in many ways I am grateful. It made her so much easier to train knowing I could easily have something she wants more than anything else in the world. With Silas not being overly food motivated, it means you have to be much more creative with rewards and I don’t envy that. Do you know what his currency is yet?

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    1. Inside he will work for food, or for any kind of play. Outside is still up in the air. He will eat in a few places. He will chase his ball in a few places. What he really loves is to run around, but we can’t do it everywhere.

      You’re right, it would be a lot easier. In fact, it took me a long time to learn *how* to use a non food reward, because the most a training book says is “Your dog might find something else more rewarding.” But the mechanics just aren’t quite the same.

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