Now that you’ve found the perfect pet-friendly cabin for vacation, how do conquer some of your pets most  annoyingly bad habits before you set out on your journey?  Start now.  Here is some great information on how to stop your pet from begging at the table from the Virtual Pet Behaviorist at ASPCA.org:

What happens when you walk into a house and encounter the delicious aroma of your favorite home-cooked meal or freshly baked cookies? Well, you too probably gravitate toward the kitchen without even thinking about it, especially if you’re hungry.

Because most dogs enjoy the same kinds of foods that we do, it’s not surprising that they’re drawn to good smells, too. However, many pet parents don’t like it when they sit down at the table to eat and find themselves under the intense scrutiny of their hopeful, drooling dogs.

You can’t really blame your dog for begging at the table. But if you’d like to change her behavior, you can do so by using one or both of the following tactics: Prevent begging by controlling your dog’s access to the table. Teach your dog to do something else instead, such as lying down and staying on a mat or bed.

Sometimes it’s easiest to solve a problem by preventing it from happening. If you’d rather your dog leave you alone while you eat, you can use a baby gate to confine her to another room when you sit down for a meal. Or, if your dog is crate trained, you can put her in her crate while you eat.  To keep her busy and quiet, try giving your dog a chew bone, her dinner or a toy stuffed with something delicious.

If you’d like your dog to stay in the same room with you but refrain from begging and loitering right next to the table…or drooling on your shoes, you can use a tether to keep her in her own space. Attach a short leash or tether (four- to six-feet long) to a heavy piece of furniture or an eye-hook in the baseboard. Put a soft bed or mat next to the tether. Before sitting down to eat, lead your dog to her comfy spot, and attach the leash or tether to her collar. Then give her something to chew or a food-stuffed toy.

After you finish your meal, you can release her from the tether. As long as you give your dog a tasty treat of her own to work on while you eat, she’ll enjoy settling in her special spot during mealtimes. (A word of caution: Do not leave your dog unattended while she’s tethered. She could get tangled in the tether and injure herself.)

If you don’t want to confine your dog in a crate or an area away from the table or use a tether to restrain her, you can teach her to go to a designated spot, usually a bed or a mat, and stay there.

This skill can be useful in a variety of other situations, too. If you’re watching a movie with friends and you’d like your dog to occupy herself for a while, you can ask her to go to her spot and chew a bone.

If your dog jumps up on people when they come to the door, you can ask her to go to her spot whenever the doorbell rings and wait there to greet visitors. If you take your dog somewhere with you, you can bring her bed or mat and have her settle on it when you need her to be calm and quiet.

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ERA In The SmokiesThis blog is sponsored in part by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

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