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Begging for food

2332 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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Wow thanks for the suggestions everyone. Emily, sounds like your dogs are pretty laid back. Banjo's life seems to revolve around food. And he hates to be crated when he knows we are out and about and he can't be with us. All the howling, yelping, barking and whining drives us crazy. And it doesn't seem to matter where in the house we put him, it's just as loud as if he were right next to us.

Keechak, yes, we do say sit and stay. Chello is very obedient and will do it. Banjo is just so dang high strung! Maybe I need to get him some downers. (kidding lol) That is something I definitely need to stick to. I know we could get them to do it if we just stay persistent.

FilleBelle, a stuffed Kong was exactly what I thought of today so I went to PetSmart and got a couple. I'm going to put some peanut butter in them and cross my fingers.

Poodleholic, thanks. You say that the fact that he's 7 years old doesn't make it too late, that makes me feel better. Unfortunately out of the 2 of us, I'm the most patient lol. I just need to get DH to help me stick to it and hope that he doesn't lose his patience with him for good :(

Thanks to everyone for their responses. I'll try everything you guys said (except for giving scraps!!!) :)

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The same approaches generally work, but some types require extra owner commitment. Terriers are not renowned as dogs who easily give up on strategies that have worked for them in the past.
Haha, "terriers" and "terrors"....wonder if there's a reason they're called terriers?!?!? Just kidding of course. But it's funny that I had no idea how wild and energetic these dogs are known to be until after we adopted them. When I tell someone what kind of dogs we have, their eyes get huge and they say how rambunctious that breed is.
Well I wanted to give a quick update. The kongs have seemed to work for the first half of dinner lol. The other half is spent telling him to lay down and stay. I think after a week or so of continuously doing that he will get the hang of it and just do it on the first command. It took him about 3 weeks to sleep quietly in the crate at night. Now all I have to do is just take him to the crate...I don't have to nudge him in anymore, he'll walk in on his own and stay quiet the rest of the night. It just took some persistence on my part and it paid off so I'll have to use persistence again with this.
Thanks again all for the suggestions and personal experiences.

Sorry, when I posted my update I didn't realize there was a second page of replies.
TxRider, those are awesome ideas! I will give those some thought and work at something like that. I don't know if I'll be able to teach them to balance food on their noses lol, but I love it, that's great. I could learn a lot from reading the posts here.

Thanks so much,

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