Q. I adopted a bichon. (I am 5th owner) Any ideas on how to keep him off the kitchen table. When someone gets up he jumps up and then eats their food.
A. Dogs are natural opportunistic feeders (scavengers). It's not necessarily that he is hungry, he just can't avoid the temptation. The best way to address this issue is with training. I recommend seeking assistance from a local trainer but you may also work on addressing this yourself if your up for the challenge. First, start by removing easy temptations. Every time your dog successfully manages to steal something off the table, he is being "rewarded". You need to ensure this no longer happens. During meal time, I would give him his own quiet activity like a food dispensing toy, or remove him from the room completely (outside, or put him in a kennel). When you are done supper take all things off the table and safely store where they are not accessible. Second, you're going to have to watch him like a hawk. Try activities to keep him busy, and increase his exercise. Bored dogs are more likely to get into trouble. If possible block his access to the table altogether to avoid further mishaps. I would also recommend teaching the command "leave it" and practice working on his self control. And lastly, being consistent is key. If you need any further help I would be happy to assist you with a private consultation. Good luck.