Do you spend every dinner with a button nose and little paws poking at your lap? If so, it’s a good idea to nip the behavior before it gets worse. Dog begging is a common behavior problem that most pet owners face. It isn’t cute or even healthy for your cuddly friend to be craving […]
Do you spend every dinner with a button nose and little paws poking at your lap? If so, it’s a good idea to nip the behavior before it gets worse. Dog begging is a common behavior problem that most pet owners face. It isn’t cute or even healthy for your cuddly friend to be craving for food that isn’t theirs. Fortunately, there are several easy tricks you can use to reduce these bad habits early.
Check our tips on how you can stop your puppy from begging below:
When a puppy begs for food, it communicates a few possible issues. Your puppy, for example, may be trying to tell you that they’re not getting the nutrients they need from their food, according to PetMD. They may also want to join the family at dinner and are starved for your attention.
Whichever is the case, it’s time to start searching for the root cause of your puppy’s begging. Start with your puppy’s food first: does it contain the nutrients your fur-baby needs to grow? Is it filled with high amounts of fat, sugar, or other unhealthy ingredients? Always make sure that your puppy’s food meets their needs based on their age, size, and breed. You should also expand their feeding schedule to 2 or 3 small meals per day.
Your puppy also requires time for kisses and cuddles. They crave your attention on a regular basis. And if you don’t give it to them, you may see their little nose poking at your feet at the dinner table. Be sure to reserve time for affection and playtime to show your puppy you adore them too!
Once you get a look at those sweet pleading eyes, it’s hard not to toss over a small piece of food from your plate—just a little nibble won’t do much harm, right? Well, unfortunately, even the smallest crumb from your plate will make it harder to end your puppy’s bad habit.
If you can’t seem to resist, try training yourself first. Refrain from giving in to your fur-baby’s begging. Remind yourself that you’re doing it for their own good. Many foods we eat are toxic to dogs and can lead to a number of health problems like obesity. It’s better to put a stop to this behavior sooner than later.
If you’d rather have your puppy leave you alone while you eat, you can set up a baby gate to keep them away from your kitchen and dinner table. You can also teach your puppy to go to a specific location, like their crate or a corner spot, on command.
As with other commands, it’s important to be consistent and patient with your puppy. Your cuddly friend wasn’t born knowing what “spot” means so you’ll need to show them where it is, and command them to go there whenever you eat.
Practice this command a few times, and if your puppy has trouble staying in their “spot”, leave the room with your puppy and come back to try again. This command can also be super useful in other situations such as when guests are over or when you’d like to spend time alone.
When all hope is lost, use toys as a distraction. Kong toys, puzzle games, and chewy toys fuel your puppy’s brain juices, keeping them smart and away from your mealtime.
Toys are also great rewards when it comes to training. If you find you can’t win your puppy’s obedience with yummy treats, toys are the way to go! Make sure your puppy’s toys are chewable and appropriate for their age. Check out our blog, 5 Must-Have Puppy Toys to find the right toy for your furry friend.
Remember the golden rule of training: be consistent. Training a puppy (or any pet) can only be successful if you are regularly reinforcing your lessons. When your puppy whines and begs for that small crumb on your plate, you should resist the temptation every time, not just occasionally.
Your other family members and guests need to be aware of this rule as well—it may seem like a cute party trick to feed your puppy leftovers, but it will lead to problems in the long run. If everyone follows the same feeding rule, your puppy will be less likely to beg around the table.
Dog begging ends as soon as you stop giving in. If you want your puppy to display good behaviors, you need to work for it with your own actions. Don’t forget to reward your puppy when they display good behavior with treats, toys, and kisses. Once your puppy understands their place at the dinner table, you will have peace and quiet during mealtimes.