Your dog will beg for food. It’s time to take control of your dining experience! Feeding your dog from the dinner table is a big no-no. You will never be able to have a peaceful meal with your family and friends without your precious pooch’s nose perched on the edge of the table or his paws repeatedly thumped upon someone’s lap begging for that tasty morsel.
Begging is one of the most common issues that dog owners face. We love our dogs so much that we would like to give him everything that he wants. When he looks at you with those huge eyes, it’s almost too much for us to bear, we give in! All it takes is a little willpower on our part as this behavior is easy to correct.
Do not give food. It may sound obvious but do not give him food outside of his planned eating times. Feeding human food is ok. Begging for it is not. Many people feed their dogs table scraps but don’t have a begging issue because the scraps are fed in the dog’s bowl. Giving food is a form of affection, and giving affection reinforces his behavior and he will beg for food. Find the willpower to stop giving him that tasty morsel from your plate and he will learn that he cannot expect rewards for begging.
Ignore him. He is begging to get your attention. Rather than give in to him ignore the begging behavior and teach him that it does not get results! Do not talk to your dog or give him affection and do not engage in direct eye contact as you are then feeding his mental state. His high-pitched whine is an effective tool against you, and your dog knows it, because it has worked before!
Don’t feel sorry for your dog. You know you feed your dog his well balanced diet and that all his dietary needs are met at the appropriate feeding time. He is not hungry so don’t be tempted to give him that scrap off the table when he looks at you with those big sad eyes and places a single paw forlornly on your leg. If you are concerned about how much your dog should be fed, seek advice from your vetinarian.
Be consistent in saying no to begging – In any kind of training, consistency is the key to success. Your dog must learn that his begging behavior is ineffective so be consistent in ignoring his behaviour every time he begs. He will soon learn that his behavior has negative results and he will become that obedient dog at mealtimes. Make sure that everyone in the household understands and enforces the same rules. If you allow begging at the table to pay off by giving your dog a treat, you have taught him that if he keeps begging the outcome will be positive. A negative consequence should never be physical punishment. That only teaches your dog to be afraid of you.
Redirect – If you want to eliminate begging at the table redirect your dog with something tasty of his own. Tell him to sit on his bed or comfortable place in sight of the dining room table. Before you sit down for dinner give him a really good bone or favorite rubber chew toy smeared with peanut butter and a few treats inside to chew on while you eat. Within days of using this technique, you should start to notice that as dinner is ready to be served, your dog automatically goes and lies down in his favoured place. The key is to provide your dog with something really good to chew on that he enjoys. That will ensure that he will lie down and eat his chew rather than will beg for food.
Be patient as few dogs change overnight. Stay consistent and don’t give up. Your reward will be a better behaved dog!