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Begging for food

2322 Views 24 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Willow518
Hello, I'm new to this site. I did not search for similar problems as mine because I have done so much research on this topic and all I see is the same suggestion. Don't give food to the dog off of your plate. Well we never have.
My husband and I adopted 2 Jack Russel terriers. The male is 7 and the female is 5. Apparently their previous owner fed them table scraps all the time. The female, Chello, will just sit there and stare at you while you're eating. The male, Banjo, hops up and down - whimpers and just makes a downright nuisance of himself. He's driving my husband crazy to the point that he doesn't want to keep him.
We've had them for about 3 months now. Not once have we given them any of the food we have been eating. Every site we've gone to has said to break the behavior, just stop giving them food. I would think after 3 months, if this were to work, it would have by now.
We've tried putting him in other rooms and crating him. We can't even enjoy our food for all the barking and whining and whimpering. It's really making my husband miserable which in turn is making me miserable. Is this a lost cause with a 7 year old male dog? I don't want to give him up and I don't want to separate the dogs, they have always been together, but this is becoming extremely unbearable. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Our dog used to bother us at the table, too. We trained her to go to her bed while we eat and if she' patient, she gets a reward. Usually when we're done eating, I tell her to bring me her kong and stuff a few vegetables and a little meat in it. She has to go back to her bed to get it. Reinforces that when she goes to her place something great will come eventually.

We started the training by tossing her tiny treats from the table when she was laying down calmly xx feet from us. If she got up, the treats stopped. If she stayed, treats would come randomly. We phased out the frequency of the treats over time. Eventually she understood that a down/stay on her bed would result in a treat when we were done eating. She still gets up occasionally and puts her head on my husband's leg (he can be a soft touch - have to watch him like a hawk!) but if we're firm and tell her to go to her bed she will. Haven't found anything to stop the stare, though, short of tossing her a t-bone steak!
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