My dog has always been what I’d call “food-motivated,” but age and a kid have kicked it up a notch, to say the least. Whereas she used to linger casually, but hopefully, while we were eating, she’s recently taken to straight-up whining and even howling at us from beside the table. We haven’t ever been stringent when it comes to ignoring this behavior (I know, shame on us), but I absolutely blame the increase in begging on a little one who has freely given his scraps to her for the last three years. Now, she expects table food, and it’s gotten to the point where we just can’t take it anymore.
Enter this blog post.After researching ways to get a dog to stop begging, I’ve found three basic strategies that sound reasonable for us to actually try. All the others sound too difficult to manage with a precocious preschooler running around. Clicker training? I can barely manage a shower some days.
But I digress. Here’s the plan of action.
3 Tips for How to Get a Dog to Stop Begging
Don’t let the dog determine feeding time.
Whether she eats at the same time as us or not, trainers recommend putting the food bowl out for a predetermined time, then taking it away after that time passes. For example, leaving the food sitting there for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening, and not allowing her the chance to graze. Eventually, they say she’ll learn that she must eat during those times or she’ll have to go hungry.
Put the dog in a different room during meals.
Multiple sites recommend putting the dog in a different location or barricading her off from us while we’re eating. Others suggest telling her to go to a specific place, like a crate or a bed, while we eat, but at this point, that seems laughable given her sheer determination and volume. Keeping her in the other room via physical barrier, however, sounds totally doable. She won’t like it, but my goal is that she’ll eventually figure out that it’s the new routine.
Never give up! Never surrender!
The real test will be whether or not I can train myself not to respond to the begging. No more letting the dog eat leftover scraps, no more yelling at the baby for feeding the dog, then yelling at the dog for accepting it, no more acknowledging the begging at all! I’m determined!All right, readers. This is the beginning of a new journey that will save my eardrums and my vocal chords, not to mention my sanity and the dog’s waistline. Here’s to teaching this dog, and her dog, some new tricks!