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HomeBlogTrainingHow To Stop Dog Begging For Food? 

How To Stop Dog Begging For Food? 

How To Stop Dog Begging For Food? 

How To Stop Dog Begging For Food? 

If your dog is hovering around and constantly begging for food, it might have a dog begging problem. It’s easy to be moved by those puppy dog eyes that sometimes we just give in whenever our dog begs for a piece of the food we’re eating. But worry not! In this post, we will take a quick look at why dogs behave this way and how you can stop your dog from begging for food. 

Why Do Dogs Beg For Food? 

You give your dog meals and treats to that their tummies are full and that they get the nutrition they need–but why do they still beg whenever you’re eating something? This might make you wonder, ‘Am I not giving my dog enough food? That’s why it keeps begging?’ 

How To Stop Dog Begging For Food

On the contrary, dog begging is common since most dogs are food-motivated. However, you mustn’t give in to their begging since this can only encourage negative behaviors. While your dog may start with just pleadingly looking at you with “puppy dog eyes” to get a bite of food, this can lead to other behaviors like drooling, barking, whimpering, and jumping. Worst, they may do these behaviors to anyone they see, like other family members, children, and visitors. In addition, constantly giving “people food” to our dogs can also harm their health, leading to obesity and other health problems. 

It is important to understand that dogs are intelligent. So, if they could get a piece of food from you by begging, they know they can repeat this behavior by doing certain actions like giving sad eyes or whimpering. They will continue to do this behavior until it is addressed. 

What Are The Triggers of Dog Begging?

  1. Hunger: First, check whether your dog is getting enough food. Dogs naturally seek food when hungry, so seeing you holding or eating food will make them ask you. If your dog is begging for food, this may indicate that its mealtime has passed or that the food you are giving is inadequate.
  2. How To Stop Dog Begging For FoodPrevious reinforcement: Dogs learn from their experiences, especially when repeated. If you have given in to your dog’s begging and given food in the past, it will associate this behavior with receiving food and continue to do so
  3. Smell of food: Since dogs have a keen sense of smell, the aroma of food can be very tempting. If they get a whiff of food, they will be curious and start begging to get a taste.
  4. Seeking your attention: Dogs love attention from their owners, so begging for food can be a way for them to engage with you and get you to play with them.
  5. Boredom: Dogs may beg out of boredom or lack of stimulation. Food can become a source of entertainment for them when they have nothing else to do.

How To Stop a Dog From Begging for Food?

Now that you understand why a dog begs, we will look at the steps you can take to get your dog to stop begging for food. While it may take a few times for your dog to learn to stop this behavior, consistency and patience as a pet owner are crucial. 

Establish a Routine

If your dog is food-motivated, a good way to address its dog begging behavior is by establishing a routine around their feeding schedule. You can do the following:

  • Determine appropriate meals: Research and consult with your veterinarian on how many times a day and how much food you should give your dog based on age, size, and breed. Your vet can also advise what food to give your dog and whether vitamins or supplements are needed. 
  • How To Stop Dog Begging For FoodChoose meal times: Provide meals at regular intervals, such as morning and evening, to establish a routine. Stick to the mealtimes as closely as possible since this will help with your dog’s behavioral training.
  • Designate a feeding area: You can give your dog its food in a separate room before you sit down so his attention is on his food. Always give food to your dog in his feeding area so it will understand that he is only given food and treats in these places.
  • Set a time limit: Establish a time frame for your dog to finish its meal, typically around 15-20 minutes. If it hasn’t finished within that time, remove the food. Doing this will help your dog understand that there are only certain times of the day when it will have access to food.
  • Consistency is key: Stick to the established feeding schedule and avoid deviating from it. Dogs thrive on routine, and a consistent schedule will help regulate their hunger and reduce their inclination to beg for food.

Ignore the Begging

If your dog starts whimpering and begging, it would be best to ignore this behavior instead of scolding it. Ignoring your dog will teach it that doing certain actions when you are holding or eating food won’t lead to them getting a piece. Make sure that you:

  • Do not give in: Never give food or scraps to your dog from the table or your plate. This is often the first step that leads to consistent begging and will further reinforce begging behavior.
  • Avoid eye contact: Ignore your dog when it begs. Do not look at, talk to, or touch your dog during mealtimes.

Provide Distractions

How To Stop Dog Begging For FoodProviding distractions like mentally stimulating games, interactive feeders, and toys can help your dog stay busy and mentally engaged. These can be filled with a portion of their daily food or treat, making mealtime more engaging and satisfying. Be careful not to put too much food or treats in their puzzle toys or lick mats, as this might make them no longer hungry when their meal comes. 

Allowing your dog to engage in physical activities and exercise before mealtimes is also a great way to curb boredom. A tired dog will be less likely to beg out of boredom. Walking on your street or allowing your dog to run before mealtime can be a good start. 

Create a Physical Barrier

If your dog keeps hovering over you and your family members while eating or snacking, it would be best to maintain a physical distance until your pup has learned not to beg. Some bigger dogs may eventually learn to jump up your sofa or reach for food on the table if they see that food can be easily accessed.

  • Put in a separate room: If you have a room or place where your dog can stay while you are eating, you can put it there. This is also a great step, especially if you are still teaching your dog to stop begging for food since it won’t see and smell what you eat. 

    How To Stop Dog Begging For Food
    Dog Playpen
  • Use a baby gate or playpen: If you don’t have a spare room or backyard where your dog can be kept, you can place a baby gate or playpen between your dog and the dining area during meals. This will still create a barrier so your dog knows that it is not allowed in the place where you are eating.
  • Crate training: If your dog is crate trained, you can place him there with their favorite toy during meals.

Ensure Consistency

To effectively teach your dog to stop begging for food, you must ensure that all family members and guests follow the same rules and do not feed the dog from the table or anywhere. Also, inform your guests and visitors about your rules to prevent them from feeding your dog, no matter how cute and adorable they find it. 

Train Alternative Behaviors

How To Stop Dog Begging For FoodTeach your dog basic obedience commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it.” These commands will help redirect your dog’s attention away from the food. Gradually increase the difficulty level by placing tempting food items within your dog’s reach and practicing the “leave it” command. This will help them learn self-control and resist the temptation to beg.

Once your dog has learned these basic obedience commands, you can move on to teaching your dog the “go to place” command by luring him with his favorite treat or toy to a designated spot. 

Read: What is Obedience Training and Why Does it Matter?

Reward Alternative Behaviors

Whenever your dog chooses not to beg, follows your command, and stays in its designated spot, reward it with a treat or praise. Rewards can range from treats to praise to getting their favorite toy whenever they display good behavior and stay in their designated area calmly while you eat.  Be consistent when giving rewards to reinforce the desired behavior.

Be Patient and Persistent

Untitled design 8Teaching your dog to eliminate behavior takes time, effort, and consistency. Different dogs may take different times to unlearn begging behavior, so be patient and persistent even if you feel it is still doing the negative behavior even after some time. 

Avoid scolding or punishing your dog for begging, which will lead to confusion and anxiety. When this happens, it will defeat the purpose of teaching your dog to stop begging, as it may only resort to more begging and whimpering to get your attention. 

By following these steps consistently, you can reduce and eventually stop your dog’s begging behavior, creating a more pleasant mealtime experience for everyone.

It is best to start pups young when it comes to obedience training. You can contact Happy Pup Manor to learn more about obedience training programs that will greatly help stop dog begging. 

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