Big, longing eyes staring at you? A wet, dripping snout nudges at you, accompanied by whining noises and loud commands to finally give up some of your meal? Do you know this? Find out here how you can break your dog’s begging habit.
Why do dogs beg?
As a rule, this often unpleasant behaviour is usually conditioned. What does conditioning mean? Basically, it means that you have trained your pet to beg.
Lured by the beguiling smell, your dog will seek out your meal and the vicinity of your fragrant meal. Unsuspecting and well-meaning, you have reacted to his sweet, irresistible look and given him something.
And there you have it, your furry friend has learned that all he has to do is “look cute” and he’ll get what he wants. The more often you nurture this behaviour, the more often you reward your dog for his behaviour, the more firmly this behaviour is anchored in his memory.
He will no longer be able to understand a “no” and will beg so long and intensively until the object of desire lands in his mouth. As soon as your faithful friend picks up any kind of “food” with his sensitive nose, the behaviour that we humans call begging takes place.
What is my dog allowed to eat from the table?
The fact is, it is enormously difficult for owners to resist this “longing look”. But consider that you are doing your pet and yourself an enormous favour if you refrain from doing so.
Especially as many foods that end up on our plates are sometimes too spicy, not digestible and in the worst case can even be poisonous. You can find toxic foods here.
Consistency is needed here. Show your dog what to do instead. You won’t please your dog with a “Well, now and then is fine”, because your dog won’t be able to distinguish between the different situations. This is because every time you have something edible, the dog is expecting something to fall off. This causes stress and he can’t calm down when food is being eaten.
How can you break the begging habit?
If your dog’s begging has already reached the point where you fear for your own food, it is high time to take countermeasures. But how can you break your dog’s begging habit?
- Be aware that training requires time, patience and strong nerves. Your dog will not immediately understand why there is suddenly nothing left and may become frustrated.
- Think about what you want your dog to do while you eat. For example, relax in his spot.
- Now practice sending your dog to his bed until he is relaxed there.
- When you are eating and your dog is sitting next to you begging in anticipation, calmly send him back to his place.
- Do not scold him and above all do not give him any of your food.
- Go back to your eating place. If your dog gets up again and goes to you, repeat this step.
- If your dog stays down for a few seconds on his own, he gets a really great reward, but in his own place.
- Now you can gradually increase the time intervals. You will see that after a while, your furry friend will relax and go back to his place without expecting to get anything.
- If your dog then automatically goes to his spot when he notices that you are eating, the new conditioning has been successful.
- To avoid regression, it is very important that you remain consistent.
- Ask your visitor to follow these rules as well.
If you need help with the implementation, you can contact a dog trainer.
A begging dog can be both delightful and annoying. Especially in public places – like restaurants – a begging dog can quickly cast a bad light on you. Moreover, it is not good for your dog. On the one hand, he has more stress and on the other hand, our food is not healthy for your dog. Consistency in training is therefore an important factor in avoiding or stopping your dog’s begging.