Can’t get through a meal without your dog begging for scraps? Even if they’ve never tasted anything but kibble, our furry friends are still tempted by the delicious and unfamiliar smells at dinnertime. Why do dogs like human food and can anything be done to get them to quit their mooching? Here are some answers….
According to a recent “Ask a Vet” post on 7x7SF, the answer can be summed up in a single word: optimism. If you had only ever eaten bran cereal and were suddenly shown a chicken sandwich, wouldn’t you be intrigued? As innate scavengers, dogs can’t help tracking down human food and begging for a taste.
Despite their inbred need to mooch, a begging dog is fairly simple to train. Veterinarian Dr. Jeannine Berger recommends using management techniques and training solutions to teach your dog not to beg.
For starters, never feed your dog scraps from the table. This will only reinforce the behavior that you are trying to stop. If you do feed your dog human food, be sure to only reward them with it when they are behaving properly and present it to them in their regular food bowl.
Restricting your dog’s access to the dining room while you eat is one way to stop begging for good. Use a baby gate or put your pup in a crate with a food stuffed toy to keep them occupied.
If you prefer to keep your dog close, remove some of the temptation by feeding them before you eat or giving them a food puzzle toy during your meal. A full and otherwise occupied dog will be less inclined to beg for your food. You can also teach your dog to go to a certain spot — like a mat, bed, or corner – during dinner, and reward them with a treat for staying put.
Every dog owner will find different methods that work best for their pup. The key is to be persistent. Try one training method steadily for a few weeks. If you find it ineffective, try another, and stick to it. As another saying goes: practice makes perfect!
For extra practice, our manners daycare and lodging packages help reinforce behaviors that will make it much easier to stop your dog from begging. Our staff works diligently with dogs to help build sit, lie down, and stay skills that could mean the difference between a peaceful, patient pooch and a drooling, crying dinner-time dog. Call 973-539-0377 to book a manners session today!