We love our fur babies but truth be told, sometimes they can be a bit too much.
For instance, when the dog keeps pawing at you during meal times begging for some food. Or interrupting the visitors from the dinner you slaved hours on end in the kitchen to prepare simply because they want some food.
Thankfully, understanding why your dog begs for food coupled with some training tips can go a long way towards correcting the behaviour.
Resist those puppy eyes
In most cases, dogs will beg for food whether they have eaten or not. According to canine experts, they do this instinctually, not because they are still hungry. Giving in to their begging can lead to overeating and obesity, and when you support this behaviour, your dog will quickly learn that if they are persistent enough, begging will get them food.
Training the dog to stop begging will take time especially if they have been accustomed to getting table scraps.
The first step to do is to feed them right before you eat. Give them their food in a different room from the one you will be eating in. When you give them their food, they will be distracted by it and will be less likely to come to beg you as you eat.
Another option is to teach them the “place “command. This command teaches your dog to go to their places such as their bed, cushion or a particular spot on the floor.
When you start eating or are preparing their food, command them to go to their “place”. Training this command is done just the way you do the other training-with their favourite treats and lots of praises. And patience.
Other basic obedience commands in addition to “place” that can aid in discouraging begging are “sit”, “stay” and “leave it” or any other variations of these words that you might have already trained them on.
You can tell the dog to “stay” once you send them to their place. Or you can command them to “leave it” if you accidentally drop food on the floor and they go for it.
You can also redirect them by ensuring they have something occupying their attention while you eat. Get them their favourite toy.
Lastly, make sure everyone in the household follows the measures you put in place. If one person gives in to the begging, you will send mixed signals to your dog about what you can tolerate.
Maryanne is a pet owner. [email protected]