When your dog begins to hang around you or your family members anytime you are near food, it may be a sign that they are experiencing begging behavior. Petting and beseeching are natural behaviors for dogs, but it can be aggravating when they jump up in front of you or your guests as soon as you sit down to eat. Even when you give your dog the begging face, it might be difficult to say no to them.
If you've previously provided your dog with table food, he or she will most likely become more persistent in their requests for it in the future. Dogs will always be interested in your food, but you may train them to leave you alone while you eat by using positive reinforcement. It is not healthy for your dog to eat table scraps, and you should restrict the amount of human food that you provide to them. The benefits of teaching children to stop begging will be beneficial to both their health and your peace of mind. Stopping this behavior as soon as possible will allow you and your family to eat without being distracted.
How to Get Your Dog to Stop Begging
We've all been guilty of reinforcing our dog's bad habits. And because our dogs know us so well, they've figured out how to get what they want. Dogs beg more when we look at them because they know it works. Those big puppy dog eyes and all that whining are very effective on us humans.
Making a promise to yourself to stop giving in is the first step in teaching your dog not to beg. When you give your dog a treat from the table, you are teaching them that begging is effective. It may not work every day, but our dogs have good memories and will try again if they know it worked the previous week.
It's not fair to expect good behavior from our dogs if we don't maintain consistency ourselves. If you want your dog to stop begging, make sure you're not sending him mixed signals. You can't chastise him for begging while company is present and then cave the next day. You must maintain consistency and fairness.
The most difficult part is usually training ourselves to be consistent; the rest is fairly simple. Here are three methods for preventing your dog from begging.
- Ignore Your Dog's Requests
If your dog is already begging for food, you must completely disregard the behavior. If he receives a scrap from you just once, he knows that his efforts will be rewarded the next time.
It may appear simple, but maintaining consistency can be difficult. Don't look at your dog while he's pleading. Don't talk to him. Don't frighten him away. Simply ignore him.
If you look into those big eyes while he's begging, you might feel sorry for him and bite him. Because it has worked so well in the past, any attention you give him while he's begging may lead him to believe you're about to give him some food.
If he's a frequent beggar, he'll probably fuss and protest, but you'll have to learn to ignore him. "Hey, I guess that's not going to work anymore," your dog will eventually realize.
Don't confuse food with love. Your dog is not going hungry. Every morning and evening, you feed him well. Overweight dogs account for more than half of all dogs in the United States; your dog does not require any extras. If you continue to feel bad, remember that he is manipulating you.
Dogs have evolved those sad eyes and floppy ears specifically to manipulate you into caring for them. They've evolved puppy-like features and share many characteristics with wolf puppies rather than adult wolves.
It's not entirely their fault that they're so darn cute and easy to care for, but keep in mind that your dog is not hungry, and all those extra bits of food can add years to his life.
- Keep your dog away from the dinner table.
One of the simplest ways to stop your child from begging is to prevent the behavior in the first place. You can accomplish this by keeping your dog away from the dinner table.
You can train your dog to sleep in another room while you eat, or you can use a baby gate to keep them in a separate room. If your dog is already a beggar, keep in mind that his behavior will probably be resistant for a while before it improves, but consistency will eventually pay off.
Allow your dog to lie down in his bed or wherever you've designated for him. When he lays down, praise him and give him some treats in this location.
Depending on his stay command, you may need to work with him for a while before he consistently stays in his new location. After you've finished your meal, go over to him and lavish him with praise and treats. Inform him that the behavior of sitting calmly while the family eats will yield the best reward.
If you don't think your dog will be able to stay for any length of time, or if you don't have a good stay command down, you can separate him with a barrier. Baby gates are a popular option.
- Divert His Attention While You're Eating
If you don't want your dog to be completely separated from you while you eat, you can divert his attention to some of his own food, toys, or treats. While you eat, give your dog something else to focus on. Give him one of his favorite bully sticks or stuff a Kong with peanut butter.
You're going to use whatever floats his boat as a distraction. If he gets up from his treat to beg, ignore him. If he's used to begging, he'll probably do it for a while.
As long as you don't give in and feed him from the table, he'll realize that his begging skills aren't going to pay off.
Begging can be easily corrected if you are consistent and decide to stick with it. All it takes is perseverance and consistency. You will not be successful unless the entire family participates.
You can't give in, no matter how cute he is or what sounds he makes, because it will return you to square one.