Does your dog like to join you for mealtimes, but not in a good way? If he likes to sit next to you and whine all the while giving you those cute puppy-dog eyes, you may be tempted into giving him some of your dinners. However, this will only reinforce begging behavior, and possibly give him health or stomach problems. Here are some tips on how to stop your dog from begging and also keep him healthy and well-trained.
Your Dog Should Eat First
Time your pup’s meal to happen right before yours. Keep your dog in a separate room during his mealtime, so he learns that your dining area is not his. Not only will he get full of eating his own tasty food, but it helps to manage your dog’s begging behavior by stopping them from happening in the first place.
An Alternative Behavior
When your dog comes to the table to beg and bark for food, after he has eaten his own meal, it’s important to send him to do an alternative behavior such as sending him to a cozy area that you have created within the dining room, like a comfortable indoor dog kennel. It’s important to have something your dog can do instead of standing there begging and sending him to a bed or mat within the dining room will at least allow him to spend time with his family by hanging out in his spot. It helps if your dog knows the command “stay”, but if he doesn’t you should train him to obey that command first so he will remain in his designated spot as you eat.
Comfy Dog Bed
It’s important that you don’t give in and give your food to a begging dog. You cannot allow his cute puppy-dog eyes to win you over. If you do, you are reinforcing the idea that when he asks you for food, you will give it to him. Also, don’t yell at your dog for his behavior, which is giving him negative attention.
Remember that your goal is to stop him from begging, so you should just ignore the behavior. Always make sure you have alternative behavior options like a toy to chew on. This will entertain him and teach your dog that his begging isn’t going to get him food or attention.
It’s important that you teach your pup some basic obedience commands such as “Leave it”, “Sit,” and “Stay.” If he understands these basic commands, it will help to discourage his impulse-based behaviors such as begging.
So, if your dog jumps onto your lap to beg for food as you eat, just tell him to “Stay” and “Sit” to stop the behavior. If food is dropped accidentally and your dog goes toward it, tell your pup to “Leave it” to stop him. It’s important that your pup actively disengages and moves away from the food. When you are training your pup, make sure you do it after a walk or some other type of exercise so he will be better behaved and less energetic.
The time to give your dog a treat is when he acts well-behaved in the dining room and doesn’t beg you for food. Make sure that treatment does not come from the table, which in turn will cause him to beg again. You need to get up and get a treat when he is sitting away from the dining table and is not actively begging.
Change Your Pups’ Diet
Your pup may be bored with his food. If you see that he doesn’t finish his meals and is then coming to beg for food, you may want to change up his diet to help him stay full when you are eating. Make sure you choose food based on your dog’s age and size as well as any health issues he may have.
And follow the recommendations the food has for feeding your dog to ensure that he is getting enough to eat each day, which will hopefully help him stop begging for some of your meal. If changing his diet doesn’t work and he is still not eating his food, you may want to talk with your veterinarian since your dog may have an undiagnosed illness.
Block Your Dog’s Access to the Dining Table
Another easy solution is just to block your pup’s access to the dining table with a gate. You can also put him in his dog crate furniture, a crate made to fit interior home decors and double as actual furniture in the house. Make sure to also give him alternative activities like a toy that will keep him occupied during that time. This is a handy solution during a large family gathering or holiday dinners when you may have guests that will give your dog food and reinforce his begging behavior.
Managing your dog’s begging behavior can be difficult for some dog owners. When they see those cute puppy-dog eyes , they just melt! And they also think that it’s not going to hurt to give in every so often and share their meal. But they are wrong, giving in just once makes it so much harder to end the behavior, and it’s confusing to your dog.
It’s important to train yourself not to give in to those cute puppy-dog eyes. Try to think about your dog’s health and keeping him from becoming sick. When you are tempted to feed your dog food from your plate, think about how doing so can lead to a bunch of different health problems like obesity as he gets older.
Make Him Work for It
Dog trainers often recommend that you should use a reward during any type of training. When your dog correctly follows your command to drop any food he may pick up or goes to sit in his cozy area in the dining room, make sure you reward him. Dogs are smart and quickly learn all the behaviors you want them to do, so you will soon see fewer unwanted behaviors like begging for food since he doesn’t get rewarded for that behavior.
Consistency is the key to keeping a dog from begging for food. If a dog has never tasted human food, he won’t know that he wants to eat it. You also need to keep the rest of the family and everyone that comes to your home in the loop as well. It needs to be a house rule that your dog is never fed anything besides dog food and treats. All visitors should be informed when they arrive.
If you take your dog out or over to someone else’s home, make sure that your family and friends are aware of your rule. Anyone at the cookout or picnic you attend needs to respect your wishes.
You can take the training further by teaching your pup to actually reject human food. This is pretty difficult, but it can be done. Basically, your dog learns using a verbal cue to turn his head when offered a treat. With consistency and patience, many dogs can be taught to refuse human food when trained correctly.
Why Do Dogs Beg For Food?
The most obvious answer is that he is hungry. But is that really the case? Sometimes it seems like your dog is always under your feet as you cook, and it can be tempting to overfeed your dog when he seems like he is always starving. However, you need to find out if your dog is really that hungry, and it’s not always that simple to tell.
It’s important to follow the feeding recommendations on your dog’s food. These guidelines offer a range that is based on your pup’s ideal body weight. But you should also consider how much activity your dog engages in, so you know which end of the range is recommended you should feed your dog.
If you notice your dog is begging for food more than normal, you should keep an eye on his body weight. The recommended range on your dog’s food should be pretty accurate, so if you think your dog is too thin, it’s time for a chat with the veterinarian.
However, the main reason that dogs beg for food is that the behavior has been reinforced. Think about it. It’s the same with people. Many humans will eat when they aren’t hungry or even eat more than they need to at mealtimes. When we eat food, the pleasure centers in our brain light up. Unlike humans, dogs do not have the self-awareness they need to understand that eating everything they see is a bad health decision and could make them sick, so they shouldn’t do it.
How do I get my dog to stop begging?
First, you should ignore a begging dog, especially if he has a habit of begging while you eat. Next, separate the dog from your dinner table and have him eat his dinner in another room. Then, redirect his attention while you eat. You can use a toy or give him a nice comfortable spot in the dining room to lay in, so he can still be close and feel like he is with his family.
Why is my dog constantly begging for food?
Begging may just be normal behavior for your pup. It’s believed that dogs were domesticated so easily because of their ability to beg for food from humans. With those puppy dog eyes, they can easily get some table scraps from their humans. Dogs may act hungry all the time since they understand what they are capable of getting from humans, so begging may just be a natural instinct.
Besides being a natural instinct, begging can be the result of the wrong diet or a nutritional deficiency. If your dog is suddenly begging for food, make sure you are feeding him enough each day. If you are following the dog food feeding guidelines correctly, make sure the food you are feeding him is food that has enough minerals and vitamins in it. Some breeds are more likely to get certain health issues that can be prevented with the right minerals and vitamins, so make sure your dog is getting the right food for his breed, age, and size.
Diabetes is another possible health issue that can cause a dog to act hungry all the time. Keep in mind that a dog that eats a balanced and healthy diet can still suffer from diabetes. A dog with diabetes won’t be able to properly use carbohydrates because his pancreas won’t produce enough insulin, or his cells can’t process the insulin correctly. Whatever the reason, any sugars that typically would feed the cells in a dog’s body won’t be able to go where they are needed, which means they stay in the dog’s body and bloodstream causing him to starve.
Dogs can overheat if their body is starving, plus they can lose weight while they overeat since the food they are eating isn’t used as energy. The resulting hunger will never be satisfied causing a dog to be hungry constantly.
Dogs can also suffer from parasites found in their digestive tract, which can be contracted through polluted water or food. Roundworms can also cause changes in your dog’s appetite along with stomach pains and diarrhea. Hookworm can develop in a dog’s intestines, and they can feed on your dog’s blood, which can cause anemia. Finally, tapeworms feed on vital nutrients as well as a dog’s blood leading to digestive issues and blockages as well as increased bloating and appetite.
Finally, hypothyroidism  can also cause an increase in a dog’s appetite. This thyroid disorder is caused by underactive thyroid glands that aren’t discharging enough hormones. It will slow down your dog’s metabolism causing him to be hungry more.
Do dogs ever stop begging for food?
Begging is actually one of the more common behavior issues when it comes to a dog. Obviously, the easiest way to stop a dog from begging is just to stop giving him food. Eventually, a dog will learn that you are no longer sharing your food with him. This type of behavior training will take a while, but you can also supplement the training with distractions and other commands.