Simple Method To Stop Your Dog From Begging For Food
If you really want to stop your dog from begging for food, you’re going to have to learn not to give in to his demands whenever there’s food around.
It’s no secret that the reason a dog begs is because he wants to eat whenever you have food nearby or you go into the kitchen.
Begging is not disrespectful or weird to your puppy; it is instinctive, so it takes a lot of consistency to reverse this behavior if we have reinforced it.
This “attitude” of begging appeared a long time ago in the dog’s descendants. Over time, it became instinctive in wolves and was passed on to dogs through their DNA.
Our dogs are wired to look for opportunities to get food from us, and because they are observant, they quickly understand that begging pays off when we respond to all those cues they have mastered so well over time.
This is one of the most common complaints of pet owners, but there is hope. You can stop your dog from eating while you dine, you just have to be persistent.
- How do I stop my dog from begging?
The first step in teaching your dog not to beg is to make a commitment to stop subduing him. Every time you offer your pup a treat from the table, you are teaching him that begging is a winning action. It may not work all the time, but our dogs have excellent memories; they will keep trying if they understand that it worked once before.
Dogs beg more when we look at them; they know it works. Those big puppy dog eyes and all that whining, it works great on all of us.
If you want your dog to stop begging, you need to make sure you’re not sending him mixed signals. It is unreasonable to expect good behavior from our pups if we are not consistent ourselves.
Training yourself to be consistent is usually the most difficult part, the rest is relatively simple. Here are 3 methods that will certainly help you stop your dog from begging.
Don’t pay attention to your dog’s begging
Don’t look at your puppy while he is begging. Simply ignore it.
When your dog starts begging for food, you should pay absolutely no attention to this disruptive behavior. If he gets a scrap from you just once, he’ll realize that his time and effort could be rewarded the next time.
If you look at his big eyes when he begs, you may feel bad for him and offer him a bite. Almost any attention you give him when he begs may make him think you are about to give him food, since he has done his job so well before.
He’s likely to get agitated and resist if he’s a prolific beggar, nevertheless, you’re going to have to learn not to pay attention. Your dog will eventually realize that “Hey, I don’t think this will do anymore.”
Don’t equate food with love. Your puppy is certainly not starving. You feed him very well every morning and evening. Over 50% of American dogs are usually overweight, your puppy doesn’t need to be overweight. If you still feel sick, keep in mind that he is handling you.
Pet dogs developed those big sad eyes and floppy ears for just that reason, to get you to care for them. They have evolved more puppy-like traits and tend to share many of the attributes of wolf puppies rather than adult wolves.
2- Limit your dog’s presence at the dinner table
One of the easiest ways to prevent your dog from begging is to prevent the behavior from happening in the first place. You can do this by separating your dog from the dinner table.
You can teach your dog to lie down away from where you are eating, or you can use a baby gate to keep him in a different area. If your dog is already a beggar, keep in mind that his behavior is probably going to be pretty resistant for a little while before it gets better, but consistency will eventually pay off.
Have your dog lie down in his bed or in a specific area you have chosen for him, praise him as soon as he lies down, and give him treats in that area. Depending on his mastery of stillness, you may need to work on this for a while before he stays in his new spot continuously.
After eating, visit and praise him, then give him treats. Let him know that the behavior of sitting still while family members eat is the one that will generate the most desired compensation.
If you don’t think your puppy will be able to sit for any length of time, or if you haven’t mastered the sit command, you may prefer to separate him with a barrier such as a baby gate, a very common choice.
3- Redirect his attention while you eat
Give your dog something else to focus on while you eat. If you don’t want your dog to be completely separated from you while you eat, you can redirect his attention to snacks, toys or treats that are specific to him. Offer him one of his popular sticks or jam peanut butter into a Kong.
Ignore him if he gets up from his treat to beg. He’s likely to do this for a while if he’s used to begging. As long as you don’t give in and feed him at the table at all, he will eventually realize that his begging ability will no longer pay off.
If you are consistent and decide to persevere, begging can be considerably quick and easy to manage. It just takes determination and consistency. You need the commitment of the whole family; if one member doesn’t play along and gives up, you certainly won’t succeed.
You just can’t surrender, no matter how adorable he is or what sounds your puppy makes, it will take you back to square one.