Friday, January 7, 2011

Like Taking Candy From a Baby

One habit the babies had that I had a hard time breaking was their taking food from kids. I blame myself mostly for this bad and embarrassing behavior. When I would give food to the babies, I would grab a morsel and place the food close to their mouths and at their eye level. I suppose over time, the babies associated any food placed at their eye level as a gift for them, fair game. The kids, being kids, would walk around with the food in their hands and did not think a dog would take it from them. In no way did the kids protect their food so since the food was at that low elevation, the babies would grab it from the kids and gobble it up.

I was so embarrassed. Normally, I found that the most effective way to discipline a dog was to catch them in the act. However, I had a dilemma. If I reprimanded the dog in front of the kids and guests, my forceful and harsh tone would scare them. I think we have all seen the authoritarian dad at a social function yells at and disciplines his kid in front of everyone making everyone feel quite uncomfortable. However, if I did nothing, the babies would keep doing the same shit over and over.

I would keep an eye on the babies when kids came around and would gently scold the babies whenever they tried to take a kid's food. But since I didn't yell at the dogs or put the fear of god in them, the dogs kept doing their mischief.

Looking back, I should not have trained them to take food directly from my hand. I should have placed the food in their bowl or on the ground. Of course, some would say that I shouldn't have given them any human food. This was something I couldn't do. They were so cute when they begged. That kind of cuteness made me weak.

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