Begging is a common type of behavior for most dogs. Dog owners usually have to deal with daily situations when their canine is staring at them, whining, even barking at them, or use their paws to get what they want. Dogs tend to exhibit a behavior this behavior when they want food, attention, a walk or to play with you.
Many owners can not resist the begging eyes of their beloved fluffy friends and are likely to give them treats in order to calm them down. If you are an owner and you try to interrupt the “begging” behavior by rewarding your dog, you may want to stop doing this. Giving a reward will only encourage your dog to keep repeating this behavior when he/she wants something. Moreover, an excess amount of treats can lead to overweight and health issues. Also, this could increase the chance of toxicity, especially by giving your dog human food. Other problems that may occur if you keep encouraging your dog to beg are behavior-related problems. Dogs are smart creatures that understand relatively fast (depending on the breed and the training) what they are expected to do in order to get food or attention.
According to the experiences of some owners, dogs can even start clicking a clicker by themselves since they know that the clicker is associated with food/reward.
Since you are already familiar with the reasons that may cause “begging”, you may want to know how to prevent your dog from begging.
The first and most important rule that you need to follow if you want to interfere with this behavior is:
Do Not Reward Your Dog
As explained above, rewarding will only encourage your canine to repeat this behavior, as he/she already knows that this model works. We know how difficult could be for most owners to refuse to feed their beloved friend, when he/she looks at them with big watery begging eyes, expecting treats. You may also think that it is even cruel to not give your dog what he/she wants. Your dog is the cutest thing in the world and he/she is a family member, not just a pet, right? We want you to remember, that animals tend to use manipulative behavior techniques in order to get what they want. So, do not play along! Of course, you need to pay attention to the quality and the quantity of food that your canine eats daily in order to ensure him/her the most important ingredients.
In order to show your doggy that begging will not lead to the desired result, you can just ignore him/her.
Ignore Your Dog
We would recommend that you avoid eye contact with your pup when he/she starts begging. You need to remember that constantly feeding your dog is not a sign of love and begging is not necessarily a sign of starving. If your furry friend is too persistent you can even crate him/her as a next step.
Keep Distance or Crate Your Dog If Necessary
We would recommend that you crate your doggy in cases when he/she is too stubborn and you want to deny him/her access to your food while you eat.
Train Your Dog The “Place” Command
This step mentioned above could be implemented in a different way by training your dog to go to his/her place on command. This command is known as the “place” command and could be very helpful in such cases. You can train your pup to go to the crate or any other place in your home where he/she is supposed to stay for a while until he/she calms down. Training this command could be a demanding task, that is why you need to be patient, calm, and persistent.
Do Not Feed Your Canine On The Table Or Other Furniture
We would recommend that you feed your doggy only in his/her bowl and avoid putting his/her food in other places. This way your canine will associate “food” with a certain object only. If your dog keeps behaving disruptive and wants to reach out to your food, you can pick up his/her bowl. Even if there is food left, your pup needs to understand that if he/she wants to eat, he/she has to use his/her own food bowl. This task could also be more challenging and you need to be patient.
Keep Your Canine Engaged
You can use different toys with hidden treats inside in order to redirect his/her attention and to be able to eat your own food undisturbed. There are many toys on the market that can be used. You can fill the toys with healthy and low-calorie treats that your pup can find. Your fluffy friend will definitely enjoy the process of finding hidden treats!
Your Canine Should Deserve a Reward
Some of you may want to train your canines to be more disciplined and to work for their treats. There are different commands that you can train your dog to fulfill like “sit”, “leave”, “chin”, “lap”, “place”...etc. depending on the particular situation and your needs. Your dog will understand that he/she will receive food only if he/she fulfill a certain task. With proper training, provided by professionals or individuals at home, you can correct your dog’s behavior and avoid disruptive behavior models.
If you have decided to feed your dog on a schedule and to provide training in order to stop him/her from behaving disruptively, your housemates and family members should also be familiar with this plan.
Family Members Should Be Engaged In The Process of Proper Feeding of Your Dog
If you try to discipline your canine and to stop him/her from begging you need to inform your family members about your intentions. The training will have no results if your dog keeps getting food from your family members or housemates every time he/she starts begging.
If you are not sure what the proper amount of food for your dog should be or how to train him/her properly, you always can reach out to professional trainers and veterinarians.