Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Are You Gonna Eat That?

Elka wants your food.

It doesn't matter what you've got, or whether her food bowl was just filled (or emptied). She wants it.

Elka is a smart girl, and will try various cute (and frustrating) means of enticing some of your food into her mouth. Only rarely has she ever stolen anything: she counter surfed once and took the top bun off of a sandwich once, in the first year we got her. Nothing since, unless some tales went untold. But, she really wants what you're eating.

She'll lay down next to you, or sit, and put her chin on your knee. She'll walk around to try to get a better angle. She'll lay somewhere and stare at your food, with or without vocalizations at it.  She will bring you a toy and put it on your or near you, and then eye the food again, clearly soliciting a trade. Sometimes she's more pushy, most of the time less. Lately, she's been more.

When more pushy, this includes constant management. The head is no longer allowed on my knee. She must lay down somewhere, not pace around staring like a creeper. She is not fed from my plate (which, arguably, caused this problem in the first place...but most of the time, Elka's manners regarding this are quite good.). 

In fact, as I've typed this, I've been eating my breakfast. At the coffee table. Elka is on the couch next to me, but has been quiet. Her nose has not touched my plate. She has not pushed me or licked the air over the food (this is very weird. I can't claim in any way that it isn't), or whined or complained. For this, we will go to the kitchen with my empty plate, and she will be rewarded. This stricter management stuff started yesterday; maybe it won't even take a full week, who knows? 


  1. Thats like all four of mine

    Stop on by for a visit

  2. Haha I wish I could be as diligent as you about this! Elli does the air-lick lizard thing too! She never steals a thing, she just stares and waits and stares.

    It's not my fault sometimes I just wanted to teach her something new right then and there and only had food from my plate to give her for accomplishing it lol.

  3. We taught Honey that if she lies down while we're eating she'll definitely get a snack.

    I keep getting compliments on how she's so well-behaved and never begs. They don't know that for Honey, lying down is her way of begging.

  4. There's nothing like watching a Vizsla as he rolls his eyes to his Daddy's plate, then back to you. Back to the plate, then to you. Throw in a little drool and you have no doubts what he's trying to communicate.

    I keep waiting to find a miniature pinscher actually sitting in the middle of the popcorn bowl. Oh wait, he did nearly did that to my husband with the cottage cheese. My hubby put it down for a minute, went to pick it up and got a min pin head instead. Unfortunately it was full too.

    I've done the same thing you have. They get on my nerves and I snap a "go" command and they usually leave.

    Nancy aka dogear6
    (you know I moved my blog to a new home didn't you?)

  5. Ha ha ha! Our girls hardly ever hound me for food, but they know hubby is a total sucker and they surround him. The bad part is they always get him to cave!

  6. So, so funny! Emmett does that too, especially the pushy behavior like nudging your arm or setting his head on your lap. We started enforcing that all 3 have to be in a down away from the table when we're eating... but slowly, every single night, Emmett inches himself along until he's right under the table. Honestly, we don't correct it because it's so darn funny. As soon as he reaches the table, though, we send him back! :)

  7. Mine stares and tries to use his mental powers to get you to drop something, the look of concentration on his face is priceless.

  8. I LOVE that your polite little girl wants to trade a toy for your snack. Kolchak usually settles for sitting in front of my doing his best "don't you want to share that' eyes.

  9. @Kari Sometimes, it's all I can do to handle just the one doing it. Hat off to you, certainly!

    @Ximena Frequently, that's when I'm in the position to reward Elka as well! However, she needs to get the "earned it" versus "entitled to it" distinction through that pointy head!

    @Pamela sitting or laying down is what we try to stick with as well. Now we're adding "no, don't sit ON me" and "lay down over there".

    @Livingwiththeseasons unfortunately, the "go" frequently makes her just pace around, which drives me bonkers! Something to work on as well. "Go lay down" just creates a holding pattern, instead of the desired behavior (that I thought I'd taught her....we all saw the pictures! The problem is the OTHER members of the household actually enforcing said command, I daresay). (I saw that you moved, but I'm glad you reminded me!)

    @houndstooth what is it with guys and being softies like that? ;)

    @doggy dessert chef Dog mind powers is something that scientists should study. We might unlock Jedi Mind Tricks after all!

    @Kolchak isn't it sweet? When she actively tries to trade, it is hard to resist.