No Feeding Fido at the Table! How to Stop Your Pup from “Begging”
We love our furry family members and want them to be happy and included in our everyday lives. This can sometimes mean sharing our food with them! While cute at first, it can easily turn into the bad habit of begging for food while we cook or eat meals. The best way to prevent this habit is to never do it in the first place!
As much as you may want to share your meal with your pup, it only encourages them to expect it each time. So here are five easy tips to help prevent your furry friend from begging for your dinner!
- If you do want to share with them, give them the food in a separate area, ideally their food bowl, so they do not associate it with what’s on your plate. Be sure the food you’re sharing is “dog safe” and will not harm them or cause stomach upset.
- Teach your dog a reliable “Place” cue. “Place” teaches your pup to lie down on a specific mat or blanket until you release them. It’s a great way to redirect your dog if they start to beg while you’re eating, as your dog can’t beg at the table if they’re in bed! They will learn that they get better things in their “place” than when they beg. Reinforce them for staying in their place by intermittently tossing treats while they hold the position.
- Feed your dog first or give them a stuffed kong or puzzle toy right before you eat. If your dog is busy eating or scavenging for their own food, they won’t start to beg for yours!
- Never reinforce begging. As tempting as it may be to give into those “puppy dog eyes”, giving your pup food when they beg even one time will let them know it works perfectly and the behavior will continue even more often! Always ignore the begging and redirect to a puzzle toy, fun chew, or the “Place” cue as explained above.
- If you are still having difficulty stopping the begging, work with a certified trainer to extinguish the problem completely.