You can daily reinforce your position as pack leader with your dog during feeding time. This method takes patience but will produce a respectful dog during a sometimes overwhelming part of each day. No excitement. Do not allow your pet to become excited as you prepare her food. It is instinctive for your dog to do so as that is what she would need to do in the wild. So by asking her to work against those instincts, she will respect your leadership position. You can help to control her excitement level by not touching, talking, or looking at her. Insist on space. Have your dog stay back from you. Most dogs appreciate the repetitiveness of having a specific place that they should wait while you get their food (ex. A rug or bed).  Once you have the food, have your dog sit and give you eye contact. It’s important that your dog looks to you and not the food bowl to receive the ok to begin eating.  You can hold the bowl or place it on the floor. Wait. Do not give food to an anxious, nervous, barking, or excited dog. If you do, you are nurturing that behavior by rewarding it with food. Wait (and sometimes this takes a while at the beginning) for your dog to be calm and quiet. Then gently point to the food or say ok quietly. Stay calm—lead your dog!

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