Stop Your Dog from Begging
So, you have prepared a feast fit for a king & are about to indulge in complete food heaven when you look down & see rover giving you the sad eyes & the begging performance of a lifetime. What are you going to do? This article will cover how to stop your dog from begging.
Begging is a natural behavior for dogs, and boy, they can lay it on pretty thick to where you almost feel guilty if you don’t share your nums nums with them.
I have recently learned that if you give in to those puppy dog eyes and feed your pet, you reinforce the behavior, not to mention your dog believe it or not just trained you. That’s right. I said your dog has just trained you to give him a treat whenever he begs. So, let us look at some ways you can stop your dog from begging.
Why Do Dogs Beg?
It’s simple. Dogs beg because they want food. Dogs also have a keen sense of smell, and our food smells way better than theirs. As I stated earlier, “Begging is a natural behavior to dogs,” so it takes a lot of consistency to undo that behavior if you’ve been reinforcing it.
Begging is instinctive for dogs, especially for domesticated dogs. They seemed to be hard-wired to look for opportunities to beg. I know from my experience whenever my dog hears the refrigerator door or the crinkling of a chip bag, he shows up with those sad, sad eyes. Fear not, help is on the way. Here is how to stop your dog from begging.
You can teach your dog to stay away from your food during your eating. You have to stay consistent to do so.
Stopping Your Dog from Begging
Dogs are very observant creatures. They study us as humans and learn our behaviors & learn what makes us tick. The 1st thing we need to do is as humans are to commit to stop giving in to those puppy dog eyes. Otherwise, it’s unfair to your dog to give him food from your plate on 1 occasion & then not on another occasion. This is confusing to your dog. That is why consistency is key in breaking the begging cycle.
Ignore the Begging
If your dog is already in the habit of begging, then ignore their behavior completely. If he or she receives one single morsel from you, the battle is lost. It’s simply a battle of wills. Will you stay strong? Or will they get a scrap? It sounds simple enough. Just remember you are in control. Your dog may persist in many different ways. Mine will rest his head in my lap, look up at me, or tap me with his paw. Stay strong. Consistency wins the war.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking scraps equals love. You know you feed your dog well every day. In fact, 50% of American dogs are overweight. Besides, a lot of what we eat is not healthy for dogs to eat.
Separate from Your Dog at Mealtimes
This is by far the easiest way for both of you. Your dog doesn’t have to suffer watching you eat, and you don’t have to feel guilty looking into those eyes of temptation to give in. My dogs are crate trained, so I give them the crate, stay commanded at dinner time & eat in the other room. I understand that not all dogs are properly trained to take more consistency in those cases. If your dog doesn’t stay in any one place for any length of time, you can use a baby gate or put your dog in a bedroom.
Redirect Your Dog’s Attention
You can also give your dog something to focus on, like some dog treats of his own. There are some great interactive toys available from Chewy.com, . You can put treats in the toy & the dog has to work to get them out. Give him his favorite toy, rawhide bone, or rope to play with at mealtime. Sometimes I stuff a Kong full of peanut butter & my dogs forget all about my meal.
The bottom line is to remain consistent & by all means, don’t give in!
Article by: Franco Campanello