Does this scene sound familiar? You sit down at the table to eat and suddenly you sense that you’re being watched. You look down and your dog is right there, staring at you with those puppy dog eyes they know are so hard for you to resist. You do your best to ignore them, but when the whining and barking begin, you relent and give them what they’re looking for: a little snack from the table.
If this is a regular occurrence in your home, you’ll be happy to know that you’re not alone – many pet parents struggle with begging dogs. If you’re ready to put an end to this behavior, read on. We’ve put together a list of tried and true methods to get your dog to stop begging.
The puppy dog eyes may be cute, but that’s just about the only positive aspect of begging. Once a dog learns that this attention-seeking behavior works they will continue with it, even escalating their efforts if you try and resist. For example, if using just their puppy dog eyes stops getting the desired result, they will begin to pair it with whining, barking, or nudging you with their nose. When these fail to work the way they planned, they may try to jump on the table or counter to steal the food.
Bad behavior aside, there are also health consequences that result from begging. The additional calories dogs get from eating table scraps can result in weight gain, which leads to a whole host of issues ranging from cancer and heart disease to diabetes and osteoarthritis. There are also many human foods that are dangerous for dogs and if their begging gets to the point where they’re stealing food, you have limited control over what they end up eating.
This is why it’s important to nip begging behaviors in the bud as soon as possible.
When it comes to getting your dog to stop begging, the most important thing is consistency. It can take some time to change this behavior but if you don’t waver in your training methods, it will pay off.
We hope that this gives you some guidance on how to train your dog to stop begging. It may take some trial and error before you figure out which of the above methods work best for you and your dog, but eventually, you’ll find the right mix. And don’t forget, consistency is key for whichever methods you use!