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My husband and I put our house up for sale and moved our cat and Beagle to their grandparents. Dale, our Beagle, is a rescue dog who prior to going to live with grandma and grandpa was exremely well behaved (for a Beagle). He stayed in the other room while we ate dinner, sat before/after leash being put on, walked on a leash well, didn't bark at other dogs out the window, sat in a specific spot when he wanted to go outside... We have since brought him back to our house because he gained 5 lbs in 2 months at grandma and grandpas!!!! He didnt get to go on many walks there, and despite our requests, they fed him consistently from the table my mother-in-law also admitted to making him eggs and gravy in the mornings...

My problem is that we are having trouble readjusting him to a life with RULES. We had always left his dry food out and he just ate when he was hungry; I know this is not recommended, but he didn't overeat and maintained a very healthy weight like this for 2 years. He has never liked 'hard' food or treats, so that is probably why he didn't eat too much! Now, I leave dry food out and he has gone 5-6 days without eating! He will eat kibbles from my husband's hand, but that is not right... We cannot get him to quit begging at dinner, and when he looks at me, he looks really confused. We have been trying to break this bad habit for a few weeks now with no success.

Any ideas on how to re-train him? How do I make him not think I am mean and grandma and grandpa are the good guys? :eek:
 

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You just need to be consistent and do what you did to get to the point you were before. Don't worry, you don't have to be "mean" to him. By making him work for you, he will actually respect you more. Dogs are happy to work and to use their brains. Getting everything they want anytime makes them end up like Paris Hilton, and that's not happiness. Look at this as an opportunity to work with your dog.

Don't leave the dry food out anymore, it's just teaching him that it's there for him anytime. If you want him to eat, put him on a schedule and if he doesn't eat in the the alotted timeframe, the food gets taken away. I know it's tough because you don't want to see them starve, I know this from experience. But it's better in the long term because they will eat more consistently. Dogs aren't going to starve themselves to death, they will eventually eat.

For the begging, IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE. No eye contact, no talking, NOTHING. Eventually he will give up. Are those sad eyes hard to resist? Of course, but it does the dog more harm since he is learning to eat human food instead of kibble. It's the same reason why they tell you to not feed wild animals. They will become dependent on humans and can't survive on their own.
 
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