Advice on my beagle vs roommate

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by aristobrat, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    My partner and I have a great friend who's our roommate. We also have a (what I consider) decently-trained beagle.

    Problem occurs when our roommate forgets to put his work backpack away (which usually has a bunch of mini-snickers and other gnashible stuff that people eat at work), we all leave the house, and our beagle finds the backpack and proceeds to turn it into a doggie Golden Corral.

    Roommate gets very upset at us, saying the solution to the problem is to train the beagle not to do that.

    I'm frustrated because I know the roommate doesn't like the beagle in the first place -- it can do no right. The beagle is people/animal friendly, obeys commands, doesn't have "accidents" or chew/destroy anything when he's left by himself, doesn't bark or whine inappropriately, etc, so I don't understand where the roommate is coming from.

    To me, a beagle eating food its found is almost a primal thing for that breed. It's not like he goes ripping thru the pantry door or tipping over trash cans when we're gone. He doesn't, but easily could. But if the roommate leaves his backpack full of food and laying on his bedroom floor, "it's on".

    Roommate wants me to train the dog not to eat food from his backpack when left on the floor. I want the roommate to either make sure he puts his backpack up (don't leave it on the floor) or just to shut his bedroom door when we leave.

    Any thoughts on the situation would be much appreciated. :eek:
  2. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    tell your roomie that dogs like food, heck i might even eat candy if it was just siting out. Make your roommate put his bag higher up
  3. mlw1235 macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    It sounds like the animal that needs "training" here is the roommate.
  4. nickster9224 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006
    35 Miles From Chicago, Illinois
  5. Cybix macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2006
    Western Australia
    hrmmm I can understand how frustrated your room mate would be getting, however it's not hard to pick up/store/close door, etc.

    Dogs can be trained to do almost anything.

    I recently got myself a Border Collie pup, He's a cutie, but he's also a terrorist! :rolleyes:

    I used to have nice pot plants, nice looking pavers, a flyscreen door that kept out fly's, etc.

    It takes so much patience to train them! No doubt you've been through all of that already.

    Anyway, teaching a dog not to touch something unless told otherwise, takes a long time. It's called 'zen' training.

    Level 1 of this training would be holding some yummo dog treats in ea hand, in a fist, and holding them in front of pup... he'll go a little mental at first, you pull your hands back if he starts licking your fists, etc. and continue until he sits patiently and just looks at you. (then he gets the treats!)

    Level 2 is the same, but with open hands. He'll soon learn that he cant just take food from your open hand. Give a command, like 'go', or 'okay'.

    Level 3, food from a location, say, next to you on the ground, or simular. Allowing you to take the food away if he approaches it without a command.

    after a while, you'll advance it to whatever you want.

    My mate has a doberman that will stand still with a slice of pizza balancing on his nose, until he's told he can eat it (nice party trick), same goes if he drops down, and you put the pizza on his feet/legs in front of his face. He'll stare at it for ever, until you give the command (even if it's 30 mins).

    I think my mates main purpose for this kind of training is for the dog to not eat anything strange or whatever, unless it's told (eg, the old poison steak over the fence from the thief)

    It's going slowly with my pup. he's 21 wks old, he can sit, drop, sort of 'heel' next to my leg, and he can go to his bed or matt when told.

    I'm now teaching him to not go crazy as I approach him with his dinner at night. I want him to be 'dropped down' when I come to him with his food, instead of him trying to bowl me over. It's going very well. practice!

    It only takes about 5 minutes to teach a dog something new. But it takes weeks or months to get them to keep doing it (remember it)

    In your case, if your keen to try teaching your dog not to touch the bag... try one of these:

    1) Leave the bag with treats in it, and walk away, leave the dog alone, but keep your eye on him. When he approaches the bag give a stern low voice or growl, he will be startled and leave the bag.. (should do anyway) keep at this until he knows he's not sposed to touch the bag. This training is a bit negative.

    2) Positive training I like... Put something else near the bag, like a matt or cardboard. Be with the dog (a few meters away)... when he acknowledges the matt, praise him and give him a treat, then move the bag somewhere else that is a few ft from the matt. let him stroll around more, and when he acknowledges the matt again, treat him. Eventually he'll know that if he stays near the matt he's doing the right thing, and he may get a treat. If he starts to acknowledge the bag, turn your face away from him. if he starts to really get into the bag, throw treats near the matt to draw him away..

    Eventually you should be able to move the bag further away. you get the idea. Positive training is great, and dogs soon find that if they are not doing what the owner wants, they dont get a treat.

    3) fill your mates bag full of the dog's ****, and let it sit, then go out. he'll definately not touch it again. :D
  6. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens

  7. MultiM macrumors 6502


    May 9, 2006
    TO. I've moved!
    My dog chews my wife's stuff because she doesn't put anything away. She (the dog) doesn't chew my stuff because I DO put my stuff away.

    Put the room mate away, not the dog.
  8. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3


    Feb 7, 2002
    while i can understand the roommate's frustration, i see no reason that he/she doesn't just take more care to shut their door, or put the bag away. it's petty to expect the dog to be as easily trained as it would be to just shut the door
  9. iKwick7 macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2004
    The Wood of Spots, NJ

    Agreed. Hell, if I see anything edible laying around (on a table, of course, not the floor- unless it was something really, really good, like a box of canolis) I would be tempted to eat it.

    First off- beagles are the best dogs ever, period. How can someone not like a beagle?!? That's the first thing I am getting when I get a house- a beagle, and I shall name him Sam.

    Second, your roomate/friend needs to relax. Don't leave things around! Most of my familty have dogs/cats/whatever- I don't leave crap around. Cripes! That's just common sense!
  10. SwiftLives macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2001
    Charleston, SC
    Beagles are deviously smart problem solvers.

    We actually witnessed ours push a chair closer to the table so he could jump on it and get to the food. We quickly put an end to that behavior.

    If my wife or I are stupid enough to leave the dishwasher open, he will pull out the bottom drawer to get to the dirty plates. Of course, the time that he pulled it out and it kept coming and crashed on the kitchen floor put an end to that. Poor dog was in the corner of the kitchen with his tail tucked between his legs he was so startled.

    Most beagles lack the little mechanism in their brains that tells them to stop eating. If you leave enough accessible food out, it will be gone. Ours has actually eaten until he puked.

    And then he started eating the puke.

  11. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    I agree with the consensus here that your roommate is being ridiculous. There are very few dogs in this world that will actually avoid easily accessible food, no matter how "well-trained" they are.

    We've learned we need to keep certain things put away from our labradors or we'll come home to a mess - this is not a huge deal, especially for something as simple as closing a door or putting a bag on a shelf.

    It would be interesting to hear how your roomie expects to train your dog to stop eating his snacks...
  12. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3


    Feb 7, 2002
    haha. this whole post is awesome. my parents' dog is a mix between a britney spaniel and a rat terrier... however it looks very much like a beagle (thankfully, i've always loved beagles). it has done many of the same things you describe... getting up on a table and eating an entire pie at some point. it hides in the corner, tail tucked, on a regular basis (mostly thunder will do that), and it definitely eats til it pukes, then eats its puke.... ahh, she's getting old now though.
  13. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    The Beagle is a part of your family. If your friend doesnt like it, tell him to leave.

    If it was your grandmother he was moaning about he would be out in a flash wouldnt he?

    The dog cannot fend for itself so you need to stick up for it and tell your so called friend to shove off. It is his fault that the dog is raiding his stuff. If you put a pack of cookies on the floor the dog is going to eat them. Your friend is just putting them in his bag first. :mad:
  14. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I agree with the consensus. The roommate is being unreasonable. In fact, I'd worry about him putting in food that he knows will make the dog sick "to teach it a lesson".

    If it's too unnerving to ask him to leave, just get several more dogs. That should do the trick.
  15. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3


    Feb 7, 2002
    tell your roommate to sleep with one eye open
  16. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Not only do I agree with the consensus, but putting chocolate where a dog can get at it is a very bad thing for the dog. Maybe he's leaving snacks in the backpack on purpose, if he dislikes the dog so much.
  17. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    you took the words right off my keyboard :)

    but yeah, i agree, seems like a nice dog. tell the guy to move his bag
  18. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    What came first, the beagle or the roommate?

    If the beagle, the roommate knew what he was getting himself into.
    If the roommate, I can see why he is upset with the beagle.

    Either way, a solution that would minimize conflict might be to train the pup as has been suggested and point out the the roommate that you are trying to train the dog, but the training would be more effective if the bag either came home food-free or was put away higher up.
  19. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    The irony here is that the roommate is actually acting like a dog in a pack. By refusing to modify his behaviour and demanding you modify yours, he's attempting to assert dominance over you, effectively to train you into doing as you're told.

    So train him back. Tell him to close the room door. If he doesn't, make fun of him when the food gets eaten, then tell him to close the room door. Repeat until he gets it.
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Umm... don't let Skunk near your place. :p

    Of course, if they're gone now, you won't have to worry!
  21. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    What was the time course of events? Did you get the beagle before or after the roommate moved in? If after, was the roommate given an opportunity to participate in the decision? Is the roommate responsible for the dog in any way, or is care purely your responsibility?

    Also, where does the roommate leave the bag? In his room or in common quarters?

    I am honestly not so sure I agree with everyone who has been complaining about the roommate. Assuming that the dog is purely yours, it is also purely your responsibility. You have a responsibility towards taking reasonable precautions to not damage your roommates' possessions. If you yourself did the same damage to his bag in the same circumstance, and it would not be acceptable, I think it's equally your responsibility if the dog does it. Particularly if the bag is in your roommate's room, your roommate has a reasonable expectation that it will not be damaged, and it is reasonable that he expect you to take adequate action to make that happen.

    If you can't live up to that, I think you should all get together and talk about other living arrangements. It sounds like you have a good friendship. Don't lose it.
  22. todd2000 macrumors 68000

    Nov 14, 2005
    Danville, VA
    Were you reading my mind pliden? Thats exactly what I was going to say. Im actually surprised it took this long for someone to mention it.
  23. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I going to say training you dog not to go for the pack with food in it will be next to impossible. My family use to have a beagle (it died 3 months ago) and we had to keep the pantry closed because she would and did severel times chew a hole in her dog food and eat it. We finally got a plastic laundry basket to keep it in.

    When she was younger she figure out how to get food off the counter tops by climbing up the trash can and then on to the counter. She also enjoyed sleeping up there. The beagle knew better than to steal food off our plates so those could be in reach of her as long as we where around. She knew better than to touch our plates with food if we are in arms reach of it (she got a few 2 finger raps on the noise and she also learned it was easier to just wait for us to toss her some food)

    Your roommate really just needs to put his bag out of reach of the dog. Just putting it on a table or bed should be enough. On the floor it is just to tempting but if it is on the bed the beagle will not go for it. Beagles are a breed that does not stop eatting when they are full so you have to control there ammount of food.
  24. Mammoth macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2005
    Take his bag, nail it to the bloody wall, and be done with it. :cool:
  25. iPegboy macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2003
    my decently trained beagle would do the same thing 100 percent of the time. there is some doggie proofing that has to occur all the time. it's hard to put the bag on a table or something that's out of the pup's reach.

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