Meal Time Feeding Routine

People are always commenting on how easy meal time is in my house even with 2 dogs to feed(one a puppy) and 4 cats. Actually it is easy and it is easy to train for. As you can see with the above video, even my 14 week old puppy can sit quietly and wait for his meal to be served up. Even with the cats walking around meowing, the food being down at his level and so on. He will still wait quietly for his dinner. Wondering how we do it? Here is how.

You will need two people for this if you are training one dog. If you are training more then one at the same time then you will need a person for each dog and one person to prepare the food. The first several days is the hardest. For adult dogs or older puppies you might want to have them on a collar. Leashes are not needed. Walk over to the area, as you see I do, that you want the dogs to wait in while their dinner is prepared. Say Line Up as you are walking over there. Have the person handling the puppy or dog lead them over with their collar and then place them in a sit position facing you. If they struggle just hold them in that sit and the person holding them needs to repeat Line Up as they do. The person prepping the food ignores all this and proceeds to collect the dishes and then prepare the meals.

The person holding the pups should give verbal praise only when the pup sits longer then a few seconds. If the pup gets up or struggles put them back in the sit with the command Line Up stated firmly each time. Praise as soon as they hold the sit longer then a few seconds. Keep doing this the entire time the food is being prepared.
The person preparing the food then places all the dishes, as you see I do in the video. Then stand away from the feeding area, not to far and face the dog or dogs. The person holding the dogs is not to release their hold on the collar till the person prepping the food has giving the Go Ahead command. The person who prepared the food must wait till all the dogs are sitting calmly for at least 5 seconds. This time will extend to 1 minute or more when they are older. This will happen but can take sometimes 10 minutes till they figure out to settle. Be patient and don’t give in. Giving in will just make it a longer wait time at the next meal as you will have taught them when your patience ends and they will work for that again. Where as if you wait it out the next meal will be a slightly less wait time.

Over the next several days the pups or dogs will have to be held. But as this new routine becomes familiar the person holding them can start letting go of the collar during part of the meal prep time. As this success increases they can then not hold the collar at all. Then they can move to standing next to them. At any time if the pup or dog breaks the sit position they are to be put back into the sit and the next two meal times their collar is to be held again. They will get it. My 14 week old pup got it in less then 3 weeks. Patience is the key and you can have a quiet, safe meal time for your pets too.