We often say that someone is giving puppy eyes when asking for something they really want. It is in dogs’ nature to beg, especially when it comes to food. The sadness in their eyes, the crying sound while he looks at you chewing your sandwich and counting every bite you take. You are aware of what’s going on, this has happened so many times before — your dog is begging you for food.
You either fall for the trick or share the meal with him, or you yell at him and push him away from the table. Either way, you are making a wrong move and you should read this article to find out about the best ways to put an end to your dog’s begging habits.
Here is the summarized list with tips and tricks to help you stop your pooch from begging:
- Ignore your dog
- Never give food from the table
- Do not pity your pet
- Reward him for waiting
- Practice obedience
- Be patient and persistent
- Reversed psychology
- Involve the whole family
- Restrict access
- Cash out an easy solution
Ignore your dog
Simplest solutions are often the best, that’s why we will start with this piece of advice. Not paying attention will often lead to dog getting bored and realizing that his actions are not getting any results. Repeat this action over and over again, and eventually, your dog will let you and your family enjoy the rest of your dinner without asking for a treat from the table. Keep in mind that you are an alpha, and your pet is the last one in the hierarchy within your family, so he gets to eat the last.
Always practice feeding him after you have finished your meal, this will make a hint in his mind that he gets to eat only after your stomachs are full. That’s the rule of the pack and you should introduce it to your home too. Your attitude is of a serious importance! Do not talk to your dog when he begs, do not even look at him, ignore him during meal time like he is not there, that will do the trick.
Never give food from the table
Do you want to train your canine to beg for food every time you eat? This is the most common mistake people make, thinking that giving the dog some food is going to keep him occupied and thus he will leave you alone. Dogs learn fast, but they also eat fast, faster than humans so thing about it: how long will a piece of meat keep him busy before he comes asking for more again?
When you teach your dog to sit, you reward him with a treat for doing an action you wanted him to do. If you give him some of your food while he begs for it, that action will be related with rewards and it will be so much harder to make him stop doing that. You buy and make that food for yourself and your family, let your doggie enjoy the food you have bought or prepared for him. Learn some of the human food that you shouldn’t give to your dog in our previous well-read article.
Do not pity your pet
This is not the time to feel bad for your dog as you feed him regularly and he has enough amount of kibble in the bowl. He is not starving he just has lust to try that fresh steak that smells so good. If you think you’re not feeding him enough or that the food you are giving to him is bad, try with a different kind of food, read something on how much you need to feed your dog according to its size, breed and daily activity level.
The best way is to consult your vet and ask him for specific numbers of how much food does your dog actually need.
Reward him for waiting
If your dog enjoys eating leftovers from the meal you have just had, reward him with it only after ALL family members have finished their meal, and only if your dog was behaving well, meaning he did not jump on the table or poke you with his nose.
Otherwise being annoying little beggar, and he will behave like that or worse every time you eat.
How many times have you heard the phrase «Owning a dog is a responsibility»? I presume at least a dozen times, and the phrase is absolutely true. Every dog should be put through obedience training and practice short sessions daily.
For this particular case, there are few commands you should teach your dog:
Start by teaching your dog how to sit. Give him a treat for that and every next sessions should be more difficult. Prolong the time your dog must wait and the distance between you two. Once your dog is calmly waiting for you in front of the store while you shop for 15 minutes, you will know that he has mastered obedience of this command.
An opposite of the stay command, teach your dog to go away when he is at a place he should not be or whenever you need him to go away. This one is similar with «No» command and can be combined with it.
The four legged friend you own should have a place to call a home, his own territory where he sleeps, eats and rests. Learn your dog that it is his «place» or «home» and make it a pleasant place for your pet. Do not use it as a punishment, but as a reward and place where he will feel warm, safe and happy. Obeying the place command is a sign of a well mannered dog, and it is very useful command in different situations.
A little bit different that the previous three, this command should put an end to any kind of noise your dog is producing. Whether it is a rough bark, a soft cry, or a loud howl, he will not be able to use it for begging once you command him to remain silent. Pretty neat, huh?
If you still need help in this area, why not read our article on this remarkable training tool for your dog that will surely save the day.
Be patient and persistent
This is a key in every trick or behavior you try to teach your dog. Don’t expect immediate results, show persistence in your training and eventually, the results will follow. There’s a lot more clever tricks that your dog can learn, so read our popular article to find out.
If you give up and let your dog have his part of your meal, he wins, and you failed at this easy, yet, important part of teaching your dog some manners. Do not lose temper easily, rarely do we witness a dog learning and obeying a command for the first time, most require constant training.
There must be some food you eat often and your dog doesn’t like its taste. A vegetable or something awfully spicy; when your dog begs for food while you eat, try giving it to him. Dogs are smart enough to conclude that their bowl provides better food than your dining table so they will not ask to eat from that place again and you will indulge your sausage and French fries at peace.
Involve the whole family
You are not able to do this alone. If you follow all the rules we have talked about, and, for example, your wife keeps giving the dog food whenever he begs for it there will not be much of a progress. Even worse, your dog will become a poor confused creature about what is he supposed to do, but he will definitely follow those who give him what he asks for.
And guests! Don’t forget about guests who come to share a dinner with you. Kindly ask you visitors not to feed your dog even though he shoots them with saddest look they have ever seen. It should be a house policy and everyone needs to respect that.
If you have kids that feed your dog every time they come and ask for it, and they do it while you are not looking, even though you strictly forbidden that, than this might be a good solution. Restrict the area where you eat for your dog either by not allowing him to come near or closing him into a kennel until the meal is over. Otherwise, your family members who think that those cute hungry eyes really need some of your meal will not stop doing it, and all your effort to stop your dog from begging will be worthless.
The one and only allowed «punishment» you can apply is to give your dog a time out when he begs, meaning, you should make him leave the room for a minute or two and then let him back in. Remember that this should be only used as a last resort, as punishments are never a good way to educate a dog.
Some pet owners wonder if their dog needs to be smart to understand them, so why not find out in our doggy IQ evaluation test?
Cash out an easy solution
We have prepared some options for those who lack in time for educating their pets.
Of course, these options will cost you some cash.
- Hire a professional trainer — Professional dog trainers with experience may cost a bit, but their knowledge and skills are valuable and the time they will need to completely train your dog for obedience, including getting rid of the begging, will be much shorter than if you train a dog on your own.
- Richell Wood Freestanding Pet Gate — This wooden freestanding gate with side panels is a perfect product if you want to keep your dog outside your dining area. No installation is necessary and the size is adjustable. The gate is wide enough not to tip over and easy to stride by any adult. It comes with a beautiful hardwood finish and rubber feet that will protect your floor. The price is 110$.
- Slide Pet Gate in Walnut — A gate that fits any space from 28 to 80 inches has a slide technology for adjusting the width. It has tapered sides that make it safe to be near any furniture and is installed within seconds. The price of this piece is 138$.
- Regalo Easy Open 50 Inch Super Wide Walk Thru Gate — A bit firmer gate, which is still very easy to install and remove is also adjustable in size. One hand release is made possible with an easy lever style handle
- PetSafe Pawz Away Extra Indoor Pet Barrier — Now we have something a bit different. Instant pet barrier keeps the dog away from problem areas in the home, such as kitchen or dining room. No training or installation required, simply place it in area dog should avoid and your problem is solved. Protects a space from 2- to 12 feet in diameter and it runs on 3 AA batteries. The collar you put on a dog and connect with the device delivers electronic stimulation dogs quickly learn to avoid. It has a limited lifetime warranty and the price is 56$!
- PetSafe Pawz Away Mini Pet Barrier — A smaller version of the previous electronic dog barrier, this one has a lightweight, waterproof receiver collar with progressive static correction. Adjustable barrier range protects areas up to 5 feet and the waterproof and battery operated barrier fits easily in small spaces such as couch or kitchen table.
All things considered, teaching your dog not to beg is not that difficult, in fact, it is one of the easiest problems to solve. Also, our article on the easiest dog breeds to train may give you additional insights on what to expect from your beloved pooch.
Make sure that you or your family members are not those who cause this kind of behavior, and simple house rules will make the problem go away. If you are about to get a puppy, it gets even easier, you set the way of training and the manners your pet will have. Start working on this right now and enjoy your meal!
For more tips and solutions, our piece on proper dog demeanor is a must-read.