I always taught mine to "back it up" and "leave it" the kitchen and dining room are off limits!!!
I started the "back it up" when they first tried to come in while I was cooking, I would stop in front of them walking toward them, blocking telling them to "back it up" it didn't take long before they got it, I didn't want to be cooking and not realize they decided to lay behind me and I turn with a hot pot and fall, possibly burning myself and them.
Max is a tall rottie and his head towers over my table and counters, so when we are at the table eating I don't want him learning to beg so they have to "back it up", leftovers are given very rarely and never off our plates I put it in their bowls or if it can be given from the hand I place my plate in the kitchen and take it to them, I figured it lessen the confusion when plates are left it is meant for them.
I have heard so many people comment about their dogs taking food off tables and counters, if they are taught that those areas off limit areas it cuts down on those bad behaviors, it also works well when someone comes to the door,yes the dogs are excited but they need to "back it up" and wait! our house has a very long narrow hallway from the garage and when I get home and carrying bags I know they are happy to see me but again they need to "back it up" I don't need a 100lb dog running at me in this small area.
The "leave it" is so easily learned and so important I can leave anything out, anywhere and know I don't even have to tell them,and I can come back hours later and it is still where I left it. I also never let anyone other than myself give them anything,like when you are at the petstore or vet and someone asks can I give your dog a treat I just nicely say I'm sorry I don't give them treats, I have had several friends lose their dog by people giving them poison in something not from pet stores or vets, but just your dog picking something up while you are at the park," drop it and leave it!" no worries
More great suggestions Cheryl, thanks for sharing them. 'Leave it' is one of the most important commands and I love 'back it up' :)
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