Begging comes naturally to domesticated dogs.
They’re wired to seek every opportunity to get food from humans. However, if you’re sure you’re feeding your dog well, there’s no need to give him part of your dinner or lunch every time he begs. He’s not hungry, so stop giving into his demands for food because it only reinforces his bad behavior even more. Here’s how to stop begging in dogs:
The first step in discouraging begging in dogs, is deciding that no matter what happens, you’ll not give in to their demands. Dogs have very good memory; if they beg today and you give them food, they’ll keep manipulating you with all sorts of tricks (whining), hoping that you’ll give in again.
So, you have to be very consistent in your actions for you to succeed in stopping this bad habit. Don’t scold him today for begging because you’re in the company of friends, while tomorrow you give in to his demands when you’re alone with him. Learn to say to no to begging at all times even if he looks at you with his big sad eyes. Once you’re consistent, the rest of these tips will be easier to implement.
Dogs tend to look directly into your eyes when they beg because they know you’ll sympathize with them and give them whatever they want. So, ignore yours completely when he starts begging. Don’t look at him or speak to him. Giving him any kind of attention will make him think that you’re about to give some food to him.
Of course, you should expect yours to protest your actions, especially if he’s used to begging but just ignore. Eventually, he’ll understand that his behavior won’t work anymore in getting food from you.
And if you start feeling guilty about ignoring him, remind yourself that you’re doing it for his own good. A little bit of extra food every day might not seem much to you, but it will surely accumulate overtime resulting in massive weight gain. Just like in humans beings, being overweight makes dogs more likely to develop various diseases that affect their health and quality of lives negatively.
Other than ignoring your dog, you also need to go a step further and separate him from the dining table. Have him lay down in a different room or on him bed while you and your family are eating. Of course this isn’t going to be easy at first, especially if your pet is already a beggar, but with consistency, your efforts will pay off.
Praise him and give him a treat every time he sits calmly when your family is dining. Doing so consistently will teach your dog that the behavior of sitting calmly when everyone else eats is what will give him the best reward.
Consider using a barrier such as a baby gate, to separate him from the rest of the family during dinner if he hasn’t mastered the stay command properly.
Separating him in a different room during dinner will make him feel lonely. So, try redirecting his attention with either chew toys or treats. If he still gets up to beg, ignore him completely. With time, patience and consistency, his begging behavior will stop.
I hope the above methods will help you stop your dog from begging for food.