Is your dog's weight problem possibly due to human error?

I noticed recently our Beagle Sadie was looking a little rounder in the middle. I hadn't been giving her too many treats or overfeeding her, or had I?  Sadie gets one scoop of kibble in the morning, a few treats for tricks during the day, then she gets another scoop of kibble in the evening for dinner. There are no table scraps or excessive treats being dished out here, so how was it that she was starting to lose her girlish figure?

Sadie is like most clever dogs - she knows the word Dinner. Have you seen that commercial with the dog in the kitchen sleeping on a rug and the humans in the background talking - it sounds like muffled “blah, blah, garble, garble, garble did anyone feed Rover dinner? The dog's ears perk up, and it jumps off the rug because it clearly understood...feed Rover dinner. Well, this is exactly like our Sadie, only Sadie also starts a little jig. We call it her "wiggle-waggle" when she hears the word inner. Her enthusiasm is so convincing, it appears that we must have forgotten to feed her, right?

This whole routine is sort of like Pavlov's dog test in reverse because Sadie has actually trained us - all this body language means she hasn't been fed yet. So of course in a busy house like mine, each of us has become prey to this little trick of Sadie's at one time or another. I call it a trick because she actually was fed by the one person who isn't in the room at that moment. She's so convincing, we just assume Sadie hasn't been fed yet and then we feel guilty - poor Sadie, she must be hungry, look at her... And that's how Sadie has trained us to give her two dinners.

Well Sadie, sorry, but the jig is up! The dumb humans fell for that little trick of yours for the last time. From now on we check with each other... we do that human talking trick and Sadie only gets one dinner a night. I'm happy to report her waistline is shrinking. So next time you notice your dog is packing on the pounds, you might consider human error and major dog manipulation at play.