We all know that face your pup makes when you sit down for a meal – a perfect blend of longing, hope, and pure determination to snag a tasty treat from your plate. A begging dog is an irresistible force, but thankfully we’re packing the tricks to help you navigate the minefield of your dog’s begging behaviour.
So, let’s dig into them and discover how to reclaim peaceful meal times with your furry friend!
Set Clear Boundaries with your Begging Dog
Consistency is key when it comes to curbing begging behaviour. Establish clear boundaries from the start and ensure that everyone in the family follows them. Teach your pup that the dining area is off-limits during meal times, and designate a specific spot where they can relax and observe from a distance, like their bed, crate, or a designated mat. Gradually reinforce this boundary by rewarding them for staying in their designated spot. If they need encouragement to go there, place their favourite toy or treat there, or provide them with something that will claim their focus for a good chunk of time, such as a snuffle mat or an enrichment toy.
Prep for Success
Before sitting down to eat, make sure your doggo is well-fed. Provide them with a nutritious meal or snack that satisfies their hunger. A content pup is less likely to beg for your table scraps, after all!
Ignore and Redirect
When your dog puts on their best begging act, it’s crucial to ignore their behaviour completely. Refrain from making eye contact, speaking to them, or giving in to their pleas. Instead, redirect their attention to a more appropriate behavior. For example, you can ask them to sit or lie down in their designated spot and reward them for complying. Positive reinforcement for desired behaviour helps shift their focus away from begging.
Practice Table Manners
Teaching proper table manners can work wonders in curbing your dog’s begging behaviour. Train them to wait patiently for their own mealtime by using a specific command like “wait” or “stay.” As they learn to stay calm and patient, reward them with a treat or their own food. This reinforces the idea that good behaviour brings rewards, and they’ll be less inclined to beg for your scraps.
Avoid Reinforcing your Dog’s Begging Behaviour
It’s essential not to inadvertently reinforce your dog’s begging behaviour. Never give them food from the table or share scraps. This reinforces the idea that begging leads to rewards. Additionally, ensure that family members and guests are aware of the rules and avoid slipping treats under the table. Consistency is key in breaking the begging cycle.
With these easy to follow tips in your toolkit, you’re well on your way to enjoying peaceful meal times without the constant begging. Remember, consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key components of curbing these behaviours. Your dog will soon learn that polite manners are rewarded, and everyone can savour their meals in harmony.
At Pawz & Me, we’re here to support you in all your dog training endeavours. For more information on our specialized dog training services, click here. Together, let’s reclaim the dining table and enjoy meal times with our furry companions!