If you ever made the mistake of giving your dog a single bite of something you were eating, then you have created a monster. Now, every time you are eating, your dog sits and stares at you with mournful eyes, pretending he has never had a morsel of food in his entire life. Here’s How to Stop Dog Begging.
You can’t go to the kitchen for a snack without hearing the “tick-tick” of your best friends claws on the tile behind you, and you can forget about hosting a dinner party, because Buddy will be right there, with his best pathetic look on his bewhiskered face, waiting for some chump to drop a bite of steak down his throat.
Understand Why Dogs Beg
Before you can stop a dog from begging, you’ll need to understand why she is begging. The answer? Dogs know that you feed them because you do it every day. They know that is they sit and wait, perhaps with a very cute tilted head or some well-placed blinks, that you will give them their food.
This is great when it’s time for your dog to eat – after all, you probably taught him to sit and wait for his bowl. Now, your dog simply assumes that any time he assumes the position, he will be fed!
What to Do About Dog Begging
Before you start, make sure that your dog is not hungry. They should be provided with their own quality food and water at all times. Once you are certain that real hunger is not the motivation for the begging, be sure that your whole family is on board with the plan. When your dog starts to beg, you want to give him zero attention. Keep eating your food, carrying on your conversation, and acting as though the dog is invisible.
Do NOT tease the dog. Do not stare at the dog. Do not even look at the dog. Don’t say anything to him, and when you’re finished eating, pick up the plates, put them in the sink, and keep pretending that two soulful eyes are not boring into your back.
If they’re a puppy then try a puppy play pen, when they begin to beg you can simply put them in the pen, they’ll quickly learn that they aren’t rewarded with attention when begging – they can go spend some chill time on their own.
The fact is, the worst punishment for a dog is being ignored. Dogs hate to feel ostracized from their packs, and if your whole family continues to ignore the dog any time he is begging, he’ll figure it out and stop.
This will not work if anyone caves in. If you feed your dog when he is begging, even once, you’ll have to start the whole process all over again. Any time you are trying to teach your dog not to beg, or any time you are trying to get him to learn anything, for that matter, you must create an environment that sets him up for success, not failure.
If this is not an option, then put your dog somewhere else when it is time to eat. Ignore any barking or howling, because even negative attention will reinforce his drive to beg. Keep separating your dog from your family each time you are eating, and soon he will stop believing that he is going to be fed each time you have food. Eventually, he will get the point and stop his begging.
Remember to be patient! Depending on your dog’s level of intelligence, and depending on how bad his begging problem is, this process could take anywhere from days to weeks to work.