How to Prevent Begging

By Valdette Muller| September 30, 2017 | Blog

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Begging is a very common behaviour problem faced by many dog owners.

For many dog owners it can become a frustrating thing trying to eat a snack or sit down to a meal with their dog hounding their every move.

Many dogs will resort to behaviours, such as whining, pawing and drooling, in order to score a tasty morsel. Others may even go as far as to try and jump up and help themselves to your meal.

As we love our dogs so much, the unfortunate side effect of that love is that we tend to be persuaded by their tiny polite whines and their sweet longing eyes.

Giving in to your dog’s pleading will only make things worse, not only as a behaviour problem but as a health problem as well.

Not everything we eat is good for our dogs, and many dogs get overweight from their owners give them scraps.

If your dog is successful in making you bend to their begging, this brings not only food, but also attention. Begging will become a very hard to break habit for your dog.

What is begging?

Begging is not always associated with the dinner table.

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines beg/begging as “to ask (someone) in a very serious and emotional way for something needed or wanted very much.”

If your pet continues to make an effort to get you to give them something, (such as food, toys or attention) this constitutes as begging.

Sometimes it can be adorable,  but other times it can be irritating or even dangerous if your dog is large and starts jumping up on top of you for your attention or your food.

When are beggars, choosers?

If you feed your dog regularly then why should they be hungry for your food? Sometimes the begging shows a more serious underlining problem.

Dogs that beg for food are either not getting the right amount of nutrition in their regular food, or they are starved of attention and see begging as a good way to get it.

How do you find out which of these are the problem? A great way to start is by looking at the food your dog eats. Is your dog’s food filled with quality ingredients or mostly byproducts?

Speak to your vet about what foods are the best for your dog, and make sure your dog is getting the right nutrients he/she needs everyday. This simple change can stop begging almost instantly.

If your dog’s nutritional needs are met and the begging problem continues, you may have to re-evaluate the amount of attention and interaction you are giving your dog.

Setting aside a play time for your dog before meals may help in the process of correcting begging behaviour. It helps burn calories and tire both the dog and owner out before you eat.

Your dog might even go for a nap afterwards wile you eat. However, some dogs might not be persuaded, and will try to beg and plead at your side all day despite you trying to satisfy them otherwise.

If this is the case, some more serious training is required to prevent obsessive begging behaviours.

Don’t reward inappropriate behaviour.

Consistency is always key. Its simple, if your dog continues to get food from the table, your dog will continue to beg for more.

Make an effort with other members of your family and friends by kindly reminding them to ignore the table-side beggars during meal times.

After telling your dog “no,” for example, you might then say “bed” or “lie down.” These commands help your dog associate begging with lying down or going to their bed when you are eating.

By getting your dog to leave the area it helps remove the food as a distraction.

Ideas to try before and during meal time.

Start feeding your dog the same time as your family eats. Feed your dog in a separate room, give them their meal as you enjoy yours. This could help distract your dog and allow you to spend time with your family wile eating.

If it becomes impossible to keep your dog away from the table, try giving your dog something else to do. Before you sit down to eat, give your dog a chew or food puzzle. Keeping them busy while you eat will help them associate your meal time play time. It may keep them busy—and distract them from begging.

Resist their charms and be consistent.

Cesar Milan says “Be patient as few dogs change overnight, but consistency is the key to success. For your dog to learn that his begging behaviour is ineffective, it has to be ineffective 100% of the time.”

It can become difficult if you have shared your meals with your dog before. These anti-begging tips may be difficult to follow, but stay strong and consistent.

Do not feel sorry for your dog If your dog is being well fed. You should know your dog is not in danger of going hungry if you do not give them that scrap off the table.

Remember that when rewarding good behaviour, to do it after your meal times as to not encourage begging further during that time.

Remember to ignore or redirect the inappropriate behaviour.

 

Sources: http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Your-Dog-from-Begging

https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/18_7/features/How-To-Prevent-Your-Dog-Begging-For-Food_21254-1.html

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/begging-table-dogs#1

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/begging

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