Begging behaviour is one of the most common discipline issues that dog owners face. It is very common to mistake feeding with affection and love; hence the dangers of overfeeding begin. When our dogs start begging for food, we cave in and give it to them.
However, with some discipline, begging can be very easy to correct. Here are a few simple tips on how to stop begging:
Don’t give in
This may sound obvious but it can be all too easy to give in to a whining, begging dog when they look at you with their big watery eyes. They know their begging behaviour has worked before and so have learnt that in order to get what they want again, they have to beg. Find the willpower to withhold the food, stay strong, and eventually your dog will learn that he can’t except food rewards from this type of behaviour.
Begging is an attention-seeking behaviour. So rather than give in to them, ignore them, and teach them their behaviour does not get results. Practice no touching, no talking, and no direct eye. This will be difficult at first, but your dog will soon start to learn that begging gets him nowhere.
Don’t pity them
Your dog is not going hungry. He begs because he has learnt that begging gets him what he wants, not because he is starving. So don’t feel sorry for him when he looks at you with his big puppy dog eyes as if he’s never seen a decent meal. He certainly has and you know so deep down.
Be consistent with discipline
Consistency is the key to success for all forms of disciplinary training. In order for your dog to understand what he has to do, there must be a routine form of repetition on your part for the training to be successful. For your dog to learn that his begging is ineffective, it has to be ineffective all the time. So don’t be disciplined all week and then slip him a tasty treat under the table during dinner. Similarly, inform everyone in the household of the new rule so that they can all apply it and your dog can benefit from consistent training.
Any training takes time and this is no different. Don’t despair if you don’t see any improvements and your dog continues to beg. Remember to continue to use discipline consistently and don’t give up. Results will come with time.