12 Ways to Stop Your Dog from Begging
Dog owners often complain that their dog is annoying and begs at meals. They often find it difficult to get their dog to stop begging, even though they know that they could be contributing to the problem.
It doesn’t matter what the reason is; it can be very annoying for everyone in the household and embarrassing for guests. Let’s look at 12 animal friendly ways you can get your dog to stop begging.
1. Learn the Behavior
Dogs are simple creatures. They will perform the same behavior if it results in a reward. They will not repeat a behavior if it does not pay off.
Some dogs are content to just look at you while others will whine until they get what you want. If your dog doesn’t get what it wants, it might bark at you, paw at or climb on the couch or chair to reach you.
You can reward your dog’s good behavior by giving it a treat or a pat on the head. You can also give positive reinforcement to dogs by throwing a ball or paying attention.
Some dogs only require one or two rewards to teach them to stop begging. Removing reinforcement is all that’s required to undo this training, however difficult it may be.
2. Avoid Feeding Your Dog from the Table
Stop feeding your dog from the table. This is the most important and fundamental step to undo the negative training that led to begging.
People often give in to the temptation of begging dogs and sometimes give them some food. This reinforces their bad behavior.
It is important to not acknowledge your dog while you are eating. This will help to prevent begging and to stop an existing problem. Do not give your dog food, no matter how loudly it barks, whines or stares at the plate.
3. Avoid Talking to Your Dog Unless You’re Giving a Command
You should not talk to your dog, look at it, or mention its name unless you are giving it a command.
Don’t get frustrated with a begging dog. Any attention at all, even negative, can encourage begging behavior.
4. Avoid Looking at Your Dog
Do not look at your dog. Eye contact with your dog can be a form attention. This rewards the behavior that you want to end.
Even the most innocuous attention can encourage begging behavior.
5. Train Your Dog
Your dog should be directed to another place. You can train your dog or confine it to another location to stop it from begging.
You can place the dog outside, or in another area. You want to keep the dog out of reach and to prevent her from begging. Although it may not stop barking, this will put an end to the annoying behavior.
You can train your dog to go anywhere you like during dinner if you don’t wish to keep it there. You can place her in a crate while you eat.
Train your dog to go to bed or “crate” by telling her. Some dogs might still stare at you or whine from far away.
You will need to reward your dog
for visiting its designated area when you crate-train her. If you reward her for going to her area, she will keep performing the same behavior. It’s best to teach your dog to “crate” and “go to bed” when you are preparing food.
After the dog is able to understand the command and can perform it reliably, you can add the challenge of using it when distractions are high (e.g. dinner time).
To keep your dog in the right place during dinner, you may have to tie it or close its mouth.
6. Teach Your Dog to Leave
You can train your dog to “leave” by teaching it the command “leave.” This command will be practiced on-leash, away from the table.
7. Give Your Dog a Time Out
You may have to take your dog to another room if it refuses to leave the table or continues to eat from her crate.
Place the dog in a room without food or toys immediately after she cries. You want the dog to be in a quiet place away from your food and you. It shouldn’t be a place that the dog loves.
Let the dog go after a while. If the dog begs, place it back in its time-out area. The dog will soon associate the time-out with the beggar behavior.
After being placed in time-out, your dog might whine or bark. It might seem more severe than begging but if you keep at it and remain consistent, your dog will stop acting in the unwelcome manner.
8. Get Everyone Involved
Everyone in the household should follow the same rules as you. If the dog is not taught to stop begging, she will never learn.
Your efforts will be compromised if even one member of your household offers to eat from the table. Your dog will quickly learn which people will and will not feed her.
Your family members and neighbors should understand that begging is not for your dog’s good. Feeding from the table can lead to a dog suffering from obesity.
Begging is another bad habit that can ruin the joy of having a house pet.
9. Be Consistent
You can’t let your dog down if you make a mistake. You won’t be devastated if it happens, but you will have to start over.
in your dog training. You must be firm and consistent in your refusals to give up on your dog’s requests.
10. Avoid Letting Guilt Get in Your Way
You can be sure that your dog will not feel deprived. Guilt can be a human emotion. You will never hold your dog hostage for not giving it enough food.
If you feel better, you can give your dog a treat later. You can use the treat to reinforce an existing command or to teach a new one. Don’t give treats to dogs that have not earned them. This means your behavior is not the dog’s.
11. Don’t Give up
Your dog should stop begging within two weeks. However, you (and everyone else in the household) must remain vigilant.
Dogs will stop trying if there is reward, especially if you start giving time outs.
12. Hire a Professional
You may need to hire a professional dog trainer if your dog is more stubborn than necessary.
This is likely not the only bad behavior that must be broken. You and your dog might need to go back to obedience classes to learn more about your commands.
It can sometimes be difficult to let go of bad habits, but it is necessary in order to end begging. If you are willing to commit yourself for a few weeks to ending the cycle of begging, most problems can be solved.