ABC’s Of Dog Behavior: “B” Is For Begging 

Does your dog beg every time you all sit down for a family meal? Have you been feeding your dog from the table regularly to stop their begging? If this is the case in your household you are not alone, and this post is for you. A dog begging for food is quite common, yet easy to rectify with a just a bit discipline on your part. Begging from your pup can easily be eliminated by still showing them love and affection. 

Begging habits develop in dogs when they are given people food while you’re eating, or if they’re always given food when they beg they will continue to beg because they know they will be rewarded with the food. You can prevent this type of behavior in your dog by making sure that your dog is not given food when he or she begs, and by never feeding your dog bits of food off your plate during meal times.

One way that people may accidentally encourage begging habits in their dog is by teaching their dog to beg for a treat such as a doggy bone or a cookie. While this may seem like a fun type of training exercise for you and your dog, it can often spread to begging for human food. Instead of teaching your dog to beg for a treat, have the dog perform a task such as sit, down or rolling over; if they are not conditioned to beg for a reward, they are less likely to try it in other scenarios.

It is also important to discuss this with other members of the household about feeding your dog extra goodies if he or she begs. If you or other members of your family would like to give your dog a special treat such as dinner leftovers, then make sure that the food is placed in the dog’s bowl after you have all finished eating.

If your dog does beg for food, do not give in! One time is all it takes for a dog to make the connection between begging and a food reward. Instead, ignore your dog when any type of begging habit is exhibited and immediately redirect your dog’s attention to another type of behavior.

Ignoring a dog when they’re begging at a table is a lot harder than it sounds, but this is the first step that needs to be taken to end this behavior. No one at the table should give any attention to the dog, even if you are getting the puppy dog eyes look, whining, or barking. If your dog begins to paw at you for food while you are eating at the table or becomes physically aggressive in any way, then you should remove your dog from the area–possibly moving them to another room.

Dogs are social creatures and it’s only natural that they want to eat when their people eat, so one great way to keep a begging dog from disrupting your meal time is by having them focus on their own dinner instead of yours. This can easily be accomplished by feeding your dog at the same time you or your family eat dinner; your dog may even bring over a mouthful of food near the table to share this social occasion with you. When your dog is behaving well by eating his/her own food during this time, you should most certainly praise them. 

Obviously if you have a puppy you can start from day one with training and use this method so begging should not become a problem. If you have a pup that does beg no matter their age, the main key to solving the problem is a combination of training, patience, and consistency. As with most things when it comes to training, consistency is key. You are always teaching your dog even when you think you are not! You and your dog will both be happier and you’ll have a very well behaved furry family member during mealtimes.

Love to hear from you!