Hands up everyone who hasn’t been able to eat a sandwich in peace since their dog arrived into their life.
Dogs are notorious beggars. Who can resist those literal puppy dog eyes, whining and the ‘up on hind legs looking like a meerkat’ stance?
Unfortunately, whilst begging dogs can look cute, they can also be a bit of a nuisance, especially when eating out in public, or just when you want to enjoy your cheese and pickle ciabatta in front of the TV.
Stop Your Dog Begging
If your dog is a begging embarrassment, try some of the Tips to Stop Your Dog Begging below:
Man Food vs Dog Food
Feeding people food to dogs can have a harmful effect on their delicate digestive systems. For this reason, it is recommended by veterinarians that you avoid giving table scraps entirely to your dog.
However, if you know that your dog doesn’t have any specific digestive issues and you are aware of harmful foods, a few tidbits won’t cause any long term harm. For those times when you do want to give your dog a slice of turkey because you can’t finish it, make sure you do it AFTER you have finished your meal.
Separating your meal from your dog’s meal will help him learn not to bother you during your chow time if he knows there is something coming afterwards.
Ignorance is Bliss
Or, silence is golden. The more attention you pay to your dog during activities that don’t involve them, the more involved they will want to be, so don’t give them attention.
I know, easier said than done, but think about it; how many shops have you walked out of after being ignored by shop assistants? You soon get fed up when no one pays you any notice. Stay calm, avoid eye contact and above all, don’t give your dog the response they are seeking!
Sit ‘n’ Stay
Before sitting down to eat, place your dog into a sit or down stay. Alternatively, if your furry friend isn’t great at following commands or is still learning, place a lead on him and attach him to a piece of furniture away from the dining table.
Sure, there will probably be some initial moping and whining but with a little patience, your dog will learn that begging isn’t tolerated at the table.
A Family That Eats Together, Stays Together
Feed your dog at the same time as you feed yourself. Give him a Kong to play with or hide a treat or two that he has to go and look for.
He will be so busy looking for his own snacks that he will forget about begging for yours.
If it’s feasible, try to wear your dog to prior to mealtimes or events. A sleepy dog is a good dog.
By tiring your dog out, you will be removing pent up energy and also the emotional needs that are part of the begging process. Your dog has had some quality time with you so should lower his intensity in seeking approval through food.
Get Everyone In On The Act
The most important part of getting your dog to stop begging is through being consistent. Those puppy dog eyes I talked about earlier? BE STRONG. It’s no good implementing coping strategies only to ignore them two days later.
Make sure that the family knows what you are doing in training your dog to stop begging. Having the adults say no and the children say yes will just confuse your dog and could create more behavioural issues.
Make a plan and stick to it.
Getting your dog to stop begging will take some time and patience, but the tips above are simple to implement and easy to maintain. Give them a go and watch your dog become a reformed beggar!
Featured Image credits: Dean Wissing via Flickr