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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I haven't been on in sooooo long, since Bailey was about 9 weeks old. He's now almost 18 weeks old. He's adorable and very smart, very trainable, but he is just one big stomach!!! The girls left a plate of crackers on the kitchen table one day, didn't push their chairs in and within seconds, Bailey was up there eating them. (My eight year old says, At least they weren't chocolate Mom). Ever since then, he's put two and two together and takes the opportunity to get up there. We make an effort to push the chairs in. The past four/five days we have set traps for him. I firmly believe in constant, consistent training, so at least five times a day, I have set a trap, he has fallen for it every time, and every time he has the same punishment, same NO being shouted at him, OFF, but he does not seem to get it. We get him while he's on the table, he gets the water bottle sprayed at him, then he immediately goes into a non blanketed plastic crate (please trust me, it's not the crate he sleeps in, and he's smart enough to know that it's punishment when there isn't a soft bed in it). He still sleeps in a crate at night and loves it and sits by the door until I get that nighttime treat.
Anyway, I am done with him. I knew Beagles were walking stomach's, but I will not put up with this. My husband says we were spoilt because of Saint Charlie who wouldn't eat food if you left it on the carpet. If it's not dog food in a bowl, then it's not his.
I've read ways online on how to curb this, but I needed the Beagle owners to tell me what they've done. I'm not swayed by his Beagle eyes, or from the whine in the crate. Please, if anyone has ideas that work, I would appreciate them.
I'll post some pictures of the little rascal soon too.
 

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Beagle's aren't just walking stomachs. They have an instinct that has been ingrained for centuries to be a highly food driven working dog!

Remember too that your dog is still a pup. He is still learning boundaries. Dogs learn in three stages - they experiment, they gain success and then it becomes a habit. This rings especially true for beagles and food (or scenting) - if they gain success once, just once, they will try it again and again!

I would implement a training program like this one. It is called the triangle of temptation, and it is excellent for beagles or any other food driven dog. When put into practice properly, no dog has ever failed this program and 1000s have gained success from it! It involves the dog seeing food as a resource that you control and looking at you for permission to eat.

http://www.dolforums.com.au/index.php?showtopic=64101


I would also suggest that the best deterrent is to catch him in the act, or just as he is acting - pre empt him rather than punish him once he is already on the table. Spend time training him near the table - get him to do a bit of heel work, sit/stays or down/stays or other commands, and also work on ingraining the 'off' command. Make sure you teach it to him so he knows exactly what it means. If you see him near the table, call him away and give him a treat so he learns that anything high value comes from you and not from getting on the table.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know you're right with catching him just as he's approaching the chair, and making him come off and then treating him. I just figured, catching him in the act, ie: on the table, then punishment would make it less likely to happen again. It happened this morning, and what gets me, is he's sneaky about it. The girls left their pop tarts on the table, half eaten, went off to school. He was there, walking around the table, I ignored him. I purposedly left the room and spied through the door. He left, came back, walked around, then up he got!

The triangle thing is good and I will do my best with that, but he already knows that he's not top dog or top anything in this house. We feed both dogs at the same time, about 10ft away from each other. From day one, we have always put down Charlie's (lab) food first. After about the fifth day, Bailey wouldn't go near his bowl, he knows it's not his. To date, we can put down Charlie's food and Bailey will not go near it. When we put Bailey's food down, he's sitting and waiting for us to say, Go and eat. We can make him sit like that for a minute, although after about 45 seconds he starts to shake. It's remarkable to watch and if I say so, I was proud that he mastered that when he was about 8 weeks old.

I just don't know exactly what to do with the table thing. My kids aren't always going to push their chairs in, there won't always be food on the table unsupervised. I need to nip this in the bud otherwise I will not like Bailey much anymore. The water bottle, he hates, and I just read somewhere about putting coins in a can and shaking it.

Also, I don't know if I'm able to reward him with a treat when his error is food related. I treated him for potty training, it did work wonders, he was potty trained at about 11/12 weeks, now he will just come in the house without looking up at me for his treat as I weaned him off them. I could do the table thing with treats for good behavior but rewarding him, with food, after doing a bad food error kind of doesn't work in my brain right now. I would rather deter him from getting on table with spray bottle, NO, OFF and being consistent rather then give him food - I don't want to come across as sounding horrible - I swear I'm not.
 

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I totally understand your frustration. When we got Squeegee I thought that simply being very firm all of the time would have him trained in no time. Well, after months of screaming no!, spanking him, spraying with a water bottle, spanking him with a newspaper we realized that it really had no effect on him. I don't know if all Beagles are this way but I get the impression that most of the Beagles on here respond much better to positive reinforcement than to negative reinforcement. Literally, if Squeegee is trying to get food off of the table you can try all of the above methods and he will carry on, wagging his tail, as though you're not doing a thing. We have found that asking him to sit next to the table during mealtimes and treating him while he sits has been pretty effective. He has stopped trying to jump up and will just come sit at your feet and give you Beagle eyes until you treat him. If you don't treat him after a while he will, of course, give up and try to get the things off the table, haha. I figure, as you and I have seen with potty training, that eventually he will not need the treats anymore. Good luck! I know the training process can be really frustrating!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the good wishes. Frustration is an understatement! Bailey does not beg for food when we are eating. We nipped that in the bud, actually, he's never begged. He knows that Charlie is top dog. Charlie doesn't beg. We don't even see the dogs when we're eating, they're in the other room playing or sleeping. A few No's and Out's when he was younger did the trick. It's afterwards, especially if we don't clear up the table straight away, he's there sneaking around.

I will do the positive reinforcement, at least I'll try, I just don't know when to do it. Do I clear the table, push the chairs in and get him to come to the table and sit? Do I wait until he's sneaking around it, send him back to the family room and reward him then? Do I yank him off the table, make him go to the family room and treat him? I don't know the steps to do, or when to do them. Do I set traps for him and spy and get him before he's even stood up at the chair?

How much of this behavior is stomach and how much is just curiosity? He will put his paws up on the coffee table and sniff, even when there's nothing there. Yesterday he jumped on couch, walked across to the sofa table behind it and started lapping up my cup of tea. I almost want to put duct tape over one of his nostrils so he doesn't have a good sense of smell!!!!! (I would never do that).

Remember that commercial with people having taco head syndrome? Their head was permanently tilted to the side from eating hard taco shells? Bailey's head and nose is constantly bent down, I think his bones have fused together as he's grown and now he can't lift his head!
 

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in my experience, this is just what beagles do !!they get a fixation on something as long as its to do with food in some way or other !! our meg is a nightmare with the dishwasher. whenever it is being loaded up after dinner, she is almost climbing inside of it to lick everything in there. we have tried shouting, the rattle bottle with stones, sit and stay with reward for leaving it alone, shoving her out the way, blocking her with our knee, putting her in the other room ( she then scratches the doors ), whistles, clapping. it is so frustrating as we have never once let her do it as a pastime and we have had her 3 years. our rescue beag, Ollie is even starting to show an interest now as he copies her !!!!
 

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Originally Posted By: Gindyheadif we don't clear up the table straight away, he's there sneaking around.
Sorry, I know it is not funny to you, but that line just struck me and made me laugh. I can just picture him acting all innocent while he waits for everyone to leave the room, then when the coast is clear....


Here's a suggestion that worked for my shepherd/hound mix, and is worth a try:

cure your counter/table surfing dog
 

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Originally Posted By: GindyheadI know you're right with catching him just as he's approaching the chair, and making him come off and then treating him. I just figured, catching him in the act, ie: on the table, then punishment would make it less likely to happen again. It happened this morning, and what gets me, is he's sneaky about it. The girls left their pop tarts on the table, half eaten, went off to school. He was there, walking around the table, I ignored him. I purposedly left the room and spied through the door. He left, came back, walked around, then up he got!
He's not sneaky - all you've done is teach him not to do it in front of you.

The reason I suggested that you pre-empt him and catch him before he gets on the table, is because any time he gets on the table and eats some food he has already gotten the reward. Punishing once he is on the table and eating is not going to deter him, because he has learned to reward himself.

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The triangle thing is good and I will do my best with that, but he already knows that he's not top dog or top anything in this house. We feed both dogs at the same time, about 10ft away from each other. From day one, we have always put down Charlie's (lab) food first. After about the fifth day, Bailey wouldn't go near his bowl, he knows it's not his. To date, we can put down Charlie's food and Bailey will not go near it. When we put Bailey's food down, he's sitting and waiting for us to say, Go and eat. We can make him sit like that for a minute, although after about 45 seconds he starts to shake. It's remarkable to watch and if I say so, I was proud that he mastered that when he was about 8 weeks old.
The triangle of temptation isn't just about the dog seeing you as the alpha. It is a training in drive program using the dog's food drive. This dog clearly has a high food drive, and if you training him in this program you will be using that drive to your advantage.

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I just don't know exactly what to do with the table thing. My kids aren't always going to push their chairs in, there won't always be food on the table unsupervised. I need to nip this in the bud otherwise I will not like Bailey much anymore. The water bottle, he hates, and I just read somewhere about putting coins in a can and shaking it.
Then perhaps a high food drive dog like a beagle is not for you. I can't leave food on my coffee table - even though my beagle will not eat it while I am in the room, I can't always trust her unsupervised. While you can do training to deter him from getting on the table, it is still important to teach your kids to pick up after themselves and put their food in the bin when they are finished with it. This will remove the temptation and he will be less likely to get up on the table in the first place.

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Also, I don't know if I'm able to reward him with a treat when his error is food related. I treated him for potty training, it did work wonders, he was potty trained at about 11/12 weeks, now he will just come in the house without looking up at me for his treat as I weaned him off them. I could do the table thing with treats for good behavior but rewarding him, with food, after doing a bad food error kind of doesn't work in my brain right now. I would rather deter him from getting on table with spray bottle, NO, OFF and being consistent rather then give him food - I don't want to come across as sounding horrible - I swear I'm not.
Imagine what your life would be like if you were expected to behave perfectly all the time, but never got any rewards.

I never phase out rewards completely. My dogs will always get rewards because I like to keep the motivated. A dog that never gets rewarded for good behaviour, and is just expected to behave for nothing, is a bored and unmotivated dog.

You can punish him for bad behaviour but don't forget to reward him when he does the right thing. I never told you to reward him for his bad behaviour - I told you to teach him that you are more exciting than the table. I said that if you see him *near* the table, call him away and give him a treat for coming to you when you called him. Teach him that what you have to give is more exciting than what is on the table.

From your posts it is quite possible that this dog sees you as pretty low value, that is, that everything else is more exciting than you. That is why the triangle program is so good - it is a great bonding exercise where the dog learns that you will always satisfy his food drive (as you release him to eat). What training do you do with him?
 

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Sorry no advice here I think you have had great advice but you cracked me up saying he is just one big stomach
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Smeagle,
Wow, thanks for all that typing!
I got on the boards yesterday morning because I was frustrated with Bailey. The Pop Tart affair had happened just minutes earlier, and we had a rough weekend with him and his table antics. I explained about this one behavior of his that I don't like. I was mad at him. Excuse me for neglecting to point out his many finer habits.

I have a 16 week old puppy who is fully house-broken, has been sleeping through the night since the fourth day he came home, (age 7 weeks and 4 days), knows how to sit, stay, come, up (begging position), off, out, and has almost mastered down but he still does the pouncing down with his paws to try and get the treat I'm holding, but I'm sure he'll get it soon. He doesn't chew stuff, he won't touch Charlie's food bowl when it's full of food and on the ground, he won't touch his own bowl full of food until he hears go and eat from whoever is feeding him, he's trained on a wireless collar at the front of the house, he won't go up or down the stairs until the person he's following says, Come up, or come down (we trained Charlie to do this when I was pregnant for fear of him knocking me down the stairs) and as Charlie still does it, we trained Bailey to do it too. He loves his crate at night, and he's patient in the morning for when one of us takes him out to go downstairs and outside to pee! He also plays fetch and he plays with balloons. We always have balloons in our house because Charlie plays fetch with them. He picks them up by the stem, shakes the heck out of it, and brings it back. Bailey was curious about balloons so we left them out. After a few sharp claws on the balloon, he soon realised that you can only use your mouth and only pick it up with the stem. (Balloons on the table and counter-tops would probably not be a good deterrent in this household). He's pretty good on the leash, but it doesn't help that even if Charlie is on the leash, Charlie's head will always be ahead of his as he is ten times bigger. He will sit on the grass with Charlie, about ten feet away from the very tame ducks at the lake, while we feed them, and will only occasionally bark at them, but he is not anxious or excited, or scared. He does love to chase birds that hide in bushes and he would love to finally catch a squirrel, he just needs to be a bit faster.

So with that said, I do a lot of training with him. I'm fortunate that I can stay home and spend time with him and train him, and for a 16 week old, I think he, (and I) have done very well. I don't really appreciate it that you said this breed might not be a good match for me, or that he doesn't really see me in a good light, (pretty low value), or that I have messy children. I have a 6 and 8 year old, and when they're running late for school and their carpool ride is waiting outside, I'm telling them to gargle and put their coats on, leaving bowls of pop tarts on the table is not such a biggie. FYI, believe me or not, many people admire my children and my dogs because they are well behaved. Like I said, I was frustrated when I came on the board and I went on and on about this one thing he does. There are many other people on this board who have problems with their beagles and type about them and vent off to other dog owners.

Since yesterday, any time Bailey has approached the tables with nose in the air, I've called him away in a joyful tone and he's come running, wagging his tail. I haven't treated him, but I've let him come up on my lap and he's had a good rubbing tummy session. I will no longer set traps for him, I will distract him when I see him sniffing in the air by the table. Nine times out of ten, there isn't anything on the table anyway - I'm sure a lot of people, especially those with younger children, will have a certain amount of food left on the table at some point.

I appreciate the advice, I really do. One link was the string tying all the Coke cans together - loved it - and I might be tempted to try that if this behavior continues.
 

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Originally Posted By: GindyheadSmeagle,

I have a 16 week old puppy who is fully house-broken, has been sleeping through the night since the fourth day he came home, (age 7 weeks and 4 days), knows how to sit, stay, come, up (begging position), off, out, and has almost mastered down but he still does the pouncing down with his paws to try and get the treat I'm holding, but I'm sure he'll get it soon. He doesn't chew stuff, he won't touch Charlie's food bowl when it's full of food and on the ground, he won't touch his own bowl full of food until he hears go and eat from whoever is feeding him, he's trained on a wireless collar at the front of the house, he won't go up or down the stairs until the person he's following says, Come up, or come down (we trained Charlie to do this when I was pregnant for fear of him knocking me down the stairs) and as Charlie still does it, we trained Bailey to do it too. He loves his crate at night, and he's patient in the morning for when one of us takes him out to go downstairs and outside to pee! He also plays fetch and he plays with balloons. We always have balloons in our house because Charlie plays fetch with them. He picks them up by the stem, shakes the heck out of it, and brings it back. Bailey was curious about balloons so we left them out. After a few sharp claws on the balloon, he soon realised that you can only use your mouth and only pick it up with the stem. (Balloons on the table and counter-tops would probably not be a good deterrent in this household). He's pretty good on the leash, but it doesn't help that even if Charlie is on the leash, Charlie's head will always be ahead of his as he is ten times bigger. He will sit on the grass with Charlie, about ten feet away from the very tame ducks at the lake, while we feed them, and will only occasionally bark at them, but he is not anxious or excited, or scared. He does love to chase birds that hide in bushes and he would love to finally catch a squirrel, he just needs to be a bit faster.
So all these wonderful things that you puppy can do, yet you still said that if he doesn't stop the table behaviour you are done with him? at 16/18 weeks (your OP said he was 18 weeks) he is still a baby puppy. Maybe you are expecting too much from him too soon, he is only four months old!

How are we supposed to know from your OP that you weren't being serious when you said you were done with him? Or that jumping on the table is really the only naughty thing he does?

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So with that said, I do a lot of training with him. I'm fortunate that I can stay home and spend time with him and train him, and for a 16 week old, I think he, (and I) have done very well. I don't really appreciate it that you said this breed might not be a good match for me, or that he doesn't really see me in a good light, (pretty low value), or that I have messy children. I have a 6 and 8 year old, and when they're running late for school and their carpool ride is waiting outside, I'm telling them to gargle and put their coats on, leaving bowls of pop tarts on the table is not such a biggie. FYI, believe me or not, many people admire my children and my dogs because they are well behaved. other dog owners.
I didn't say you had messy children. I said that when you have a highly food driven dog like a beagle, picking up after yourself is just something you have to do! Is it the puppy's fault that you have left temptation out for him? It's not like he knows the rules - it's up to you to teach them to him. My beagle is two years old now, very good at obedience and a very well behaved doggy citizen - but we have learned that for our peace of mind it is safer to make sure we put things out of reach of her.

The biggest gripe in your posts was how food driven your pup is, if you can't cope with the idea that you *might* need to put food away after eating it - then maybe next time you should consider a breed that isn't known for their insatiable appetite.

My words were that it may be possible that he doesn't see you as particularly high value - he certainly sees getting on the table as more exciting than obeying you! It's not an insult - it's just a suggestion for you to bring back rewards so that he has more motivation to obey you. Expecting a little baby puppy to obey you just because he should is not very fun or motivating.

I know none of us can be perfect - sometimes I carelessly leave things laying around too - but if my beagle gets a piece of chocolate because I left it on the coffee table, I get frustrated and annoyed, but I can recognise that the blame lies with me for leaving the temptation there for her in the first place!

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Like I said, I was frustrated when I came on the board and I went on and on about this one thing he does. There are many other people on this board who have problems with their beagles and type about them and vent off to
Remember that all we have to go on are your posts. If you are going to post on a discussion forum for all the world to see, you may not get responses back that you like. You weren't just venting - you were asking for advice.

I apologise if I have misinterpreted your posts somehow, I really do, like I said all that we have to go on is what you have written
 

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I have always had animals that are rescues, so this type of behavior happens all too often. I found that if you put a strong smelling adversive food - such as freshly ground horseradish, freshly ground hot peppers, etc. - on the table, that it is far less likely that you will have a table jumper. The odor itself is adversive, and strong enough to cover most scents. I have only had one dog that actually liked these foods - but we think that his head injuries prevented him from tasting nearly anything else. Good luck!
 

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we lock our beagle out of the house at mealtimes. He is not invited in until the pack up is complete. No way he could resist- he jumps up on tables all the time. He is 6 yrs old and we have done 5 plus courses of dog lessons, and we do triangle of temptation while feeding him. I think you have a beagle- be pragmatic, lock him up while food is around, and train the children to clear the table when they have finished.
 
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