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Sometimes we encourage our dog to beg without realizing it. Here’s how:
• Do you give them food from your plate after you finish eating dinner?
• Do you let them lick your bowl clean after you’ve eaten ice cream?
• Do you feed them some of your food as you are doing meal prep in the kitchen?
• Does your child sneak food to them while they are eating?
• Does food sometimes drop on the floor from the highchair?
• Do you think it’s cute when your dog vacuums up anything that falls on the floor?
These are common mistakes that people make and contribute towards begging behaviors from their dog while they eat or hovering by the dinner table when they have guests over.
Techniques to stop your dog from begging
1. Keep the food in the bowl: It’s essential to always feed your dog their meals in their food bowl. You can give them ‘human food’, but it’s important to either include it in one of their regular meals or as a snack, but always in their food bowl and never immediately after you eat. Otherwise, your dog will start expecting you to share your meals with them. You could also save the food for later and give it to them for following through with a request, like ‘sit,’ as you are training.
2. Make the kitchen a no-go zone during meal prep: If your dog is underfoot in the kitchen, block the kitchen access with a baby gate to prevent them from hunting for food and tripping over them with a hot pan. Are they standing near the highchair, with mouth open, while your baby eats, just hoping that something will fall from the sky? Put your dog in another room, in their crate or behind a baby gate while your baby eats. Clean up anything that may have dropped on the floor after every meal, before letting your dog join you.
3. Ignore the whine: If your dog starts barking, whining, or pawing for food, completely ignore them. Don’t look at them, talk to them, or respond at all.
4. Consistency is key: After a while, your dog will realize that their old tactics of trying to get food don’t work, and they will stop begging. The key is to be patient and consistent. They may add to their repertoire of trying to tell you that they want some of your food. Don’t worry, this means that your dog is smart and getting creative to get your attention. Just stay strong and don’t give in. You won’t hurt their feelings; you are just letting them know that they can’t demand food from you. You would never give a child another cookie if they had a tantrum because they didn’t get their way. It’s vital that we have clear boundaries with our dogs and not give in to their demands as they beg for food.
Human foods dogs can enjoy (in their bowl)
Most dogs enjoy variety in their food, just like we do. You can add some roasted sweet potatoes or carrots to their food as a special treat. Raw broccoli is a great option too. Some dogs like sweeter treats, like bananas or blueberries.
Dogs like different textures; some dogs prefer crunchy, others would prefer something steamed or roasted. Just like us, every dog is unique. Make sure that you don’t give them anything seasoned, as it could be harmful. Here is a complete list of human foods and whether they are safe for dogs.
About the author
Sarah-Anne Reed has a unique set of skills, experience, and education that allow her to offer an innovative, dynamic approach to solving canine behavioral issues.
For over 12 years, Sarah-Anne has dedicated herself to a life-long mission of helping families develop a deeper bond with their dog using a holistic approach. She addresses each integrated dynamic of the relationship while bridging the communication gap between humans and canines. Sarah-Anne’s practice focuses on understanding and respecting dogs as a different species and honoring them as individual beings.
With a professional background in human psychology, Sarah-Anne understands that the root cause of most canine behavioral issues are related to our misunderstanding of how dogs communicate and how we relate to them. Her training is empowering, as she teaches clients how to understand their dog’s behavior and how to implement effective techniques to truly help their dog, using a respectful, kind, gadget-free, and loving approach. She can be reached through her website.
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