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Learn The Secrets To Preventing Dog Begging

Nov 21, 2007
We've all seen it...the big, brown, imploring puppy eyes. Or, as most people say, the eyes of a begging pup. It's dinnertime again at your house, and as you prepare the family dinner, your dog diligently stands nearby, hoping to get a morsel of food that has dropped to the floor...a chopped carrot, a tidbit of barbeque roasted chicken, or maybe even a chocolate chip from those cookies you made in the afternoon. Your dog doesn't care what it is...as long as it is "people" food, they are happy.

Either when you are cooking or dining at the dinner table, your dog begs, and it truly doesn't matter what time of day it is. If the begging gets worse, it will turn into your dog begging any time anybody eats anything in the house. Snacking on some chips and dip or eating your favorite granola bar, your dog is faithfully at your feet, but not in the sense you would like.

So, how do you go about breaking this terrible habit? Well, believe it or not, the training starts with you, my friend. It's hard to resist those cute, big brown puppy eyes that seem to say, "I just want one piece, then I'll go away. Please, just one bit..." You are going to have to stay strong and say no. For starters, you will need to begin simply saying "no" to your dog every time he begs. Chances are, he won't go away. It takes lots of time, and lots of effort on your part to stay diligent. If the begging gets worse, such as whining, whimpering, or even jumping, you may need to place your dog in another room that is out of sight, so they can't see you eating dinner. Though it is not pleasant by any means, you will need to simply ignore your pet's barking, cries and whimpering. Eventually, your dog will make the connection between begging and being put away in another room. Again, it will take time and effort.

Another approach is to retrain your dog to stay in one specific spot during mealtime. Place a rug or doggie bed in the corner of the kitchen or dining room, and tell your pet to stay there as you eat. Each time he gets up, make him sit back down in his assigned spot. This may take even more time than putting your dog away, but it may be more effective. Be sure to praise your dog lavishly and often when he behaves well. Dogs behave well because of incentives, not because of fear. Also, give your dog a cool new toy to help keep him occupied during dinner; this will help if he has a new distraction.

Finally, remember your pet's health. The reason dogs eat dog food is because "people" food is not good for them. If a dog eats often from the dinner table, he will gain weight, and that is detrimental to his health. You will want to get rid of your dining audience, as well as keep your dog healthy and happy.

Though breaking the begging habit may take a long time, remember it is well worth all your efforts. You will need to stay strong and be dedicated thoroughly to this process. If you or someone in the family slips, it will take even longer to kick this habit. Stay strong, and both you and your pet will benefit!
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