Does that sound familiar to you?
You’re cooking a delicious meal and just as your family is gathering around the table, your dog is starting to act. She begins to moan in a high voice and widen her eyes. At first you think her begging is cute, but the behavior quickly becomes uncomfortable.
You can’t eat at a table or snack during a movie without your dog chasing you to eat. Every time you cook, your furry companion storms into the kitchen, following your every move.
Let’s face it, your dog doesn’t go hungry so he has no reason to beg for food.
But when you look into those big, pleading eyes, you can’t help but throw a little nibble off your plate. You tell yourself it is “just a foretasteBut what you are really doing is increasing begging behavior.
Fortunately, there are a few simple tricks that can convince your dog to stop begging every time you eat.
1. Don’t give in
They tell yourself that you cannot look at your dog’s sad face and eat without sharing your food. You love him down to the last detail and would do anything to keep him healthy and happy.
You just can’t hear that high whine without doing something. Without sharing a bit of food.
But the truth is that you are working against yourself.
Your dog might be smarter than you credit him. He knows his high-pitched whine is reaching you, so he will use it every time you eat.
Here’s the thing, sharing your food is a form of affection, and affection amplifies any type of dog behavior. Your dog has learned to associate high pitched whine with you by feeding him food.
The first thing to do if you want to stop your dog from begging is not to give in to his antics. If you refuse to share your food regularly, your dog will learn that whining while eating will not do him any good.
But you have to be consistent. Everyone in your household should refrain from sharing their food with their dog. If two family members don’t share but the third does, your dog will keep begging.
2. Ignore begging behavior
If your fur baby is already in the habit of begging junk then ignore him. Begging is a form of attention-seeking behavior. You need to teach your dog that begging will make you ignore him.
Refrain from looking at your dog when he asks. Don’t talk to her or touch her. If you completely ignore your dog when begging, it will compound the fact that begging will no longer work.
3. Close the door
One of the easiest ways to stop your furry friend from begging is to remove them from the table.
Take your dog to a separate room, fill his bowl with dog food, wait for him to start eating, and close the door while you go out to eat.
Sure, he’ll whine and cry the few times you do this, but he’ll get used to this routine if you add it to your daily schedule.
4. Use the ‘Your Place’ command
If your dog is already a professional beggar, this behavior will be more difficult to teach. However, consistency will ultimately pay off.
Your dog should be familiar with the command to lie down before teaching it.
Next, you need to decide where you want your dog to go when you give the command. A carpet area, pillow, or dog bed work well for this purpose. You will also need lots of goodies.
Now you need to decide which command to use. ‘Location’ is the top favorite, but you can use other commands as well. Using single words usually works best.
First, stand next to where your dog can sit. Enter the command word you have chosen and lure your dog on the spot with a treat. When she gets her place, praise her and give her a reward. Rinse and repeat.
Most dogs will follow your command after a few training sessions.
If your dog is consistently obeying your command, add the command to lie down too. Following both commands takes some practice. However, after a few training sessions, your dog should learn to sit in his seat.
Now that your furry companion lies down in her seat every time you want, increase the amount of time she spends there. You can do this by waiting a few extra seconds before offering her treat to obey your command.
Once your dog has mastered this trick, you can use it every time you want to eat without them begging for food.
5. Keep your dog distracted
Begging for food may not be your dog’s favorite pastime. Doesn’t he have a favorite toy or fluffy slipper that he likes to chew, maybe a little too much?
You can save that particular toy or dog chew and then offer it to your fur baby while the rest of the family eats. This should distract your dog from doing something they enjoy and give you a chance to eat your meal in peace.
Another great option is to distract your dog with … food. His food.
Feed your dog just before serving your own meal. Ignore him when he begs. When you and your family are finished with your meal, take his bowl, whether he finished it or not.
Your dog will quickly learn that if he is about to eat it all, he must finish his meal before you finish yours. This will distract him while you are eating so he will no longer bother you.
Keep your dog from begging with patience
The most important thing to keep in mind when teaching your dog to stop begging for food is that you need to be patient.
Your dog may have developed its current behavior in months or even years, so it’s unreasonable to believe that it will go away overnight.
Patiently and consistently discipline your dog. Your efforts will be rewarded and you will be the proud parent of a well behaved dog.