Guest post. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and do not necessarily represent the views of Val Heart & Heart Communications Enterprises Inc.
There are a few reasons why you might want to stop your dog from begging. One reason might be that you just don’t want to hear it. That’s a perfectly acceptable reason, but remember that if your dog is begging, they’re trying to tell you something.
Another really important reason to stop your dog from begging is to help them. Feeding a dog table scraps can lead to an upset stomach or even canine obesity. And according to a 2018 study, more than half the dogs in American are classified as overweight or obese.
Stopping your dog from begging can be good for both you and your dog, but how to start?
Don’t Reward Bad Behavior
The first step to stop your dog from begging is to be sure you aren’t reinforcing the behavior. When your dog is begging, they’re trying to tell you something. If you listen, you can actually learn from your dog. They are likely telling you that they are somehow unsatisfied. They might not like their own food and are asking you for a bit of yours.
They’re pretty convincing too. When your pup flashes those eyes, it’s easy to share with them. Unfortunately, this is the last thing you want to do. If your dog is asking you for a bit of your meal, giving it to them is going to reinforce that behavior. By giving your dog what they ask for, you will teach them that begging will get them what they want. They will continue begging if they learn that it works.
Give Your Dog a Safe Place
Another way for you to tell your dog that begging is not acceptable is to give them a safe space to be. If you are sitting down at mealtime and your dog begins to beg, tell them to go to their safe place.
That place can be anywhere you designate, as long as you keep it the same. You can choose a certain rug or even their crate. Crate and dog training tips are important, don’t abuse the fact that you can crate your dog for your own convenience. The benefits of crate training are very apparent if done properly.
Whatever you decide on, be sure that the place is actually comfortable for your dog. Each time you sit down to eat, tell your dog to go to that place. If your dog doesn’t stay in their place, take the dog out of the room. If you are having a hard time getting them out of the room, you can also try leaving the room yourself. You can use a minute or two as a kind of reset and come back together to try again.
Help Your Dog Focus
When your dog is begging for food, it’s because they want what you have. They know that your food is some of the best stuff around. They might also have little else to occupy themselves.
To stop your dog from begging, you should give them something better than what they’re begging for. If your dog begs at your mealtimes, give them something to help redirect their focus away from your meal. For instance, give them a stuffed Kong for a tasty treat that will occupy their mind.
Another way to redirect their focus is to feed them at the same time you eat. Give your dog their food while you are eating. Then, once you finish your meal, take their bowl away regardless of how much they’ve eaten. Your dog will quickly learn that they should be eating at meal time instead of begging.
Give Your Dog Tasks to Stop Dog Begging
Because we love our dogs so much, it’s easy to spoil them. We might give them an extra treat just because they’re cute or call them to cuddle on the couch because we’re cold. While these are perfectly fine things to do, your dog might be craving a bit more discipline.
Some dogs need a strong leader, and you might have to take up that call.
Here are some training tasks you can work into your everyday routine:
- Tell them to sit before you feed them.
- Have your dog wait for your “o.k.” to go outside.
- Ask them for a paw before giving them some pets.
These are small tasks that you can work into your everyday training. Once your dog understands that you are rewarding their good behavior, they’ll learn what behaviors you dislike.
Training a dog is a back and forth dance that never really ends. This is why it’s important to listen to your dog as much as you give them commands.
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