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Michelle’s Happy Tales Report
7/23/18 Mostly Happy Tales From Inside And Around The FoG Kennel.

I was reminded this week by one of our vendor’s newsletters that this July marks the 30th anniversary of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. We are fearful of the sharks in the sea but we seem to tolerate the ones in our houses that we call “Table Sharks”!!

Greyhounds make wonderful table sharks. Their long legs and muscular chests form the perfect pedestal for supporting that slender, stealthy nose on its way to your tabletop, sliding across the tablecloth, and onto that plate full of sandwiches!! Just how you wanted to impress the in-laws!! But then those big, beautiful eyes will convince you that they were starving and really intended to split with you!!

The authorities offer a lot of ideas for taming the table shark. Recently, one of our vendors did a great summary of the table shark training tips. This is what they say:

(1) Ignoring the dog can be very effective. Don’t make eye contact and don’t give in even once!! (Okay, that one might be hard to do. And if you have a family at the table, I guarantee someone won’t follow the rules!)

(2) Train your dog to an alternate response (??) Their explanation: “train your dog to provide an alternative response. You can use a clicker to treat your dog to associate lying on a mat with getting a treat thereby isolating treat rewards to a specific area.” (Oye, good luck with that one. My dogs would be eating off the table while I searched for the clicker!)

(3) Use baby gates or a food puzzle toy to occupy the dog while you eat. (Sure. It’s fun to try to eat with the human family while the canines sit at the fence staring at you. That doesn’t last here. Jerry is a softy!! As for the food puzzle thing, we got one once but never figured out how to put the food in it. Last I saw, the cat was playing with it.

(4) The Boston group just recommends ‘using the “stay” command’ for dogs. Well, some of them will do it. Probably not when you want them to but you can try.

So I guess Shark Week won’t apply to our table sharks! But a shark can’t give you that “I need a belly rub” look or share your couch when you just want to curl up and watch TV. I think our greyhounds have been trained to be the best house dogs in the world. It’s not their fault our tables are kinda low.

Have a wonderful week – And hug your hound for me!