In today’s article, we look at how to stop a dog from begging for food. Which isn’t always easy when they stare up at you with those puppy dog eyes?
The best way to stop a dog from begging for food is to never feed your dog from the table in the first place. The same applies to any other time or place that you are eating. Remind your children, and visitors, that we don’t feed the dog scraps of food while we are eating.
However, because you have read this far I am guessing that piece of advice is too late, right! Don’t worry, you can successfully stop a dog from begging for food starting today.
It probably goes without saying but, NEVER GIVE FOOD TO A BEGGING DOG. It only encourages them when you do. As hard as it may be, do not give into their whining and sad looks. To do so only rewards them for this behaviour. And they win!
Puppy Dog Eyes Are Such A Cliche
“Puppy dog eyes” are such a cliche isn’t it, but boy some dogs sure know how to work them! So to prevent a habit forming it is so important you resist as your dog begging, no matter how guilty they can make us feel.
When it comes to training your dog not to beg for food, we first need to train any ourselves. As mentioned above, we need to train our children, and visitors, that we do not feed our dog food from the table. Dogs learn quickly who the weak links are, often it is often visitors that don’t have dogs themselves, who will not think twice about slipping a tasty morsel to “their new friend.”
And because they don’t have dogs themselves, they don’t know the consequences of feeding a dog from the table. Therefore, we must always be vigilant in telling our guests not to feed the dog at the table. Although it might also be a better idea not to allow the dog anywhere near the dinner table when you are eating.
It is important that we stop a dogs begging behaviour as soon as it begins for two reasons. Firstly, feeding a dog ‘Human Food’ from the table can add unnecessary calories to your dog’s diet. Secondly, it is annoying and anti-social (especially with guests!) and can be particularly troublesome with small children around.
In my experience, the sooner you can stop a dog from begging for food the easier it is. Here are some simple tips on how to stop a dog from begging and impress your guests. There are few things as impressive as a dog that is able to calmly wait on a mat while you carve into a delicious dinner!
How To Stop A Dog From Begging For Food!
Here are 5 easy steps that you can start implementing today that will stop your dog from begging for food.
- Focus on your food, not on your dog! At meal times avoid giving your dog attention. Attention rewards the behaviour and encourages it (the opposite of what you want!)
- Make sure everyone is on board. Although treats during training sessions are fine, make sure any other food is eaten from his bowl. Let every member of your family know this rule – consistency is vital!
- Your dog should have a mat or crate to stay at while you eat. This can be a mat, crate or bed.
- If your dog moves from their mat calmly get up, lead them back to their space and return to the table.
- Once you have finished eating visit your dog in their space and give them pats and praise. You can then give your dog their dinner.
It May Seem That You Are Being Cruel
Remember: Although it’s easy to feel guilty, resisting the urge to give in is actually the kindest thing you can do for your dog. If fed a high-quality diet, your dog does not need any extra tidbits. Plus, those little treats can add up quickly, adding excessive calories to your dog’s diet. Dog obesity is a major issue in pets. Something as little as a piece of cheese is almost the equivalent of your dog as us eating 2 hamburgers!
Related article: Help Your Overweight Dog Lose Weight
Let’s face it when we absolutely love our dogs we tend to give them anything they want. We let them stay inside on a cold night. We let them sleep on the bed. We let them do pretty much anything they want. We buy them fancy foods, which I personally doubt are actually any better than standard dog foods. But more on that in another article.
So when our dog(s) look up at us with those Puppy Dog Eyes its hard to say no. But say “No” you must when it comes to your dog begging for food while you are eating. Whatsmore, we need to train our dogs not to beg for food before it becomes a habit.
If you have dog-friendly food left over after the meal, then by all means, feed it to your dog. But feed your dog at the dogs feeding area and at yours dogs feeding time. We all know what happens when we humans snack between meals, its the same for our dogs.
This is another example of where the owners of the dog need training, BEFORE, the dog. So I sincerely hope that by now you truly understand how to stop a dog from begging for food. And get to enjoy your meals in relative peace and quiet, as far as your dogs’ behaviour goes…
Food For Thought
The key to any dog training is consistency. With the right training method and consistent, clear message you can easily tackle problem behaviours like begging.
To help you turn your dog into a well-trained companion I recommend Doggy Dan’s Online Dog Trainer.
Doggy Dan’s positive and gentle approach allows you to communicate what you want to your dog. Remember, a dog’s desire to please is SO strong – Doggy Dan’s ability to open up communication between you and your pup allows you to show your pup desired behaviour.
How to stop your dog from begging is just one of many new skills on your pet ownership journey. Sign up for Doggy Dan’s Online Dog Trainer and you and your dog can grow and learn together while strengthening that special bond. ==> The Ultimate Dog Training Course
Photo on this page by Margo Brodowicz on UnsplashTags: Behavior modification, Dog Training, Training methods