Barking for biscuits, nudging and in some cases, down right table surfing are a few examples of BAD behaviors that many owners want to solve. A dog that becomes a compulsive beggar generally begins by having an irresistible cuteness and charm which sometimes develops into a bossy “got to have it now” demand! How is it that many owners end up learning to whine the word “no” in attempts to get their dog to stop begging!
How do you know you are in trouble? If your daily dog training routine involves chanting “No, go lie down,” or “I already gave you some,” and “I can’t believe he got the whole sandwich off the counter!
Manners are taught, not instinctual. Are you sending your dog a mixed signal?
First, admit to yourself what you want to solve the issue and then commit. Like any rehab, the solution begins with you! The mixed signal is interrelated between you and your dog. Surprise! Could it be so simple?
Paws For A Minute® Quick tip: Dogs/ Stealing Food And Begging
1. Don’t reprimand your dog after he has taken the food off the table. It doesn’t work. Oh, he knows you’re mad and may react as if he knows, but he doesn’t know at what? Besides, he already took the food. The trick is to teach him not to in the first place! It’s best to start with simple basic steps to create a long lasting solution.
2. Stop feeding your dog from the table or couch. Create a different time to give your dog praise and a treat.
3. Begin a new ritual. Feed your dog first, before you eat dinner and make his meal delicious! Some owners feel guilty if their dog doesn’t want to eat their own food.Timed feeding your dog is a great way to ensure he eats in one sitting. If your dog doesn’t finish his food pick up the bowl after about 15 or 20 minutes. Sometimes begging for human food can be a sign that your dog is holding out for better stuff. Don’t worry, your dog will not go hungry, he will just eat all of his own food during the next feeding.
4. Try a 10 minute dog training exercise while you eat a sandwich. This may seem like a hassle to some, but it’s best to isolate the issue. If the issue is human food then redirecting your dog to be good during mealtime is key. The leash helps you redirect your dog to “sit” and eventually lie down next to you while you eat. Be careful not to have too much eye contact with your dog while you’re eating. Eye contact between you and your dog is part of the culprit of learning to beg. If you both stare at each other you are creating an anticipation as you take a bite of food and that’s what signals the whining.
If you are having problems doing this exercise. That means your dog needs exercise! Make sure he is fed, walked and watered before creating this new ritual. Remember, it takes about 6 weeks to change a behavior, yours and your dogs!