Food from strangers in yard

Posted by n4d4
Oct 1, 2010
Hi all, a very new member to this excellent forum. I have a question regarding how to train my puppy which I will be getting in a couple of days. I know that we can give advanced training to dogs when they are older. So a little ahead of myself I think .

The hard thing that I have yet to figure out is how do I go about in teaching him to not accept food from strangers that throw food over the fence to the yard. I dont want him to get poissoned as I had that experience years ago (I live somewhere else but I am still worried)

I have searched a little and there is a few suggestions out there, from down right abusive (read that you slap your dog when receiving food from strangers) to lacing the food with hot sauce...or making your dog eat from a certain bowl, or certain spot...these can cause problems, the slapping is abusive, the lacing with hot sauce might make the dog not wanting to eat, certain bowl (what happens if you have to replace that bowl?) certain spot (what happens if you go on a holiday and they are taken care off elsewhere...)

one of the ideas I came up with is have a key word for them to tell them that it is ok to eat it and that is the only time they are alowed to eat or have treats. But I am not sure how to go about it. Or if you have any other Ideas would love to hear it
Posted by KOPCaroline
Oct 2, 2010
Hey n4d4,

I think you could use a combo of only eating in one place and only eating with a command. My dog always eats his meals in the same spot, but also knows its ok to take treats I am giving him in other places. Most dogs are big enough vacuum cleaners that while they have a habit of eating in one place, if they are taken to a new environment and fed, they'll still eat. Especially if you use a command for him when eating.

I trained my own dog to sit and wait for my "ok" or "go get it" until he actually eats. I can sit him right next to his bowl, full of food, and he won't touch it until I say so. Same for treats, he doesnt take them until I say "ok". Its simple enough to train, just have your dog sit, and train him to start eating on "ok" or whatever command you want (eat, go for it, etc). If he rushes his food at first, be patient, puppies take time to catch on. But teach sit, and have him do that before you put the food down. Put it down and correct him if he goes for it. Same for if you are hand feeding. I'd imagine most dogs would have an easy enough time with this.

Have friends come over and offer the dog food, and tell him "no" if he tries to take it without your command. Do it everytime, and tell him "good boy" when he eats with your command.

Good luck!
Posted by Kate-Jacobz
Nov 6, 2010
Hi n4d4,

I use the same training technique as KOPcaroline.

I have my dogs sit before I place their food down and then I will wait thirty seconds or so before I say "eat". Sometimes I will turn my back on them before saying "eat" and if they sneak their food I will say "no. Sit." and wait another thirty seconds before saying "eat". I also use this technique when hand feeding them. I have them sit, I then hold out a chicken neck and only when they are comfortably seated with their bottoms firmly on the ground will I say "eat" having them take the necks from my hand. This is a good time to also train them to allow me or anyone else to remove food - helpful in preventing food aggression. By this I mean removing their bowl whilst they are eating but do not do this to torment the dog. Also pat him/her while he/she is eating.

Good luck.