How to Stop Your Dog From Begging for Food

You love your dog so dearly, however, there is one thing you do not love. His constant begging.

When sitting up at the table for dinner, you look to the right and see those big sweet eyes. It feels so hard NOT to give in, however, you know they are often begging for food that is not good for them. Wanting to keep them safe and healthy, you also know it would be best to refrain. Plus, when you bring your pup other places or guests come over, there is that embarrassing moment when your pup sticks their chin on someone’s lap and begs for food.

The Owner is Responsible 

Sometimes the owner has to take responsibility for their dog’s behavioral issues.  

It’s completely understandable. You look at that sweet face, especially if they were a puppy, and just want to give ‘em a little taste of food. One bite of plain bread (plain only – NOT other bread that is toxic to dogs). A nibble of some chicken. Could those tiny pieces really hurt?

The truth is yes. Previous behavior has helped lead him to become the beggin’dog they are now. That is not to place blame but to remind you that, thankfully, you do have control.

You can help fix this issue. (And others. For example, it is possible to train your dog to stop barking at other dogs.)

Take Action

Now, there are specific things you can do that will dissuade your pup from beggin’.

The biggest one? Do NOT feed your dog at the table.

By giving them food from the table, they will begin to expect it.

If they put the cute eyes on you before and they got food, they will do again. Why? Because it worked. That is why the cycle must be broken. Each time they make pleading noises and earn food from their owner, they are reinforced. This can happen at the dining room table or anywhere else, such as cooking in the kitchen. They will continue the behavior that got the reward in the form of food.

That is the first, most important step. Then, here is what is recommended next:

  1. Try not to look at your dog while you are eating. When you look at them, you are (1) more susceptible to seeing those big, sweet eyes and giving into temptation (2) it encourages them to seek your attention – which includes begging for food.
  2. Tell anyone and everyone not to give your pup food. Yes, that includes Mom – no matter how much she likes treating Rover real special. Make sure your partner, family, any kids and even friends that come over know that the new policy is not to give your dog food at the table. Because if you stop doing so, but your spouse keeps it up, the issue will only continue to prevail.
  3. When it is mealtime, create a routine for your dog. It is ideal to have him go to one specific place, perhaps a corner with a cushion nearby or in the next room. Give him the order to sit, stay or lay down before you start your meal. Then, once eating is over, go over and allow that beautiful pup to rejoin the festivities.

Designate His Feeding Area

Just as your pup should have a place at mealtime, keep their food to one area – their bowl. If they only get food from one spot, they will only come to expect it from that very place (not the kitchen table or couch).

Remember Their Smarts

If you give your dog some people food for training, that is one thing. Give them a bit of chicken for sitting when training outside is one thing. Feeding at the table is something else entirely. Give your dog some credit. They will be able to tell the difference between which is okay and which is not. (If you want another technique, here’s how to train your dog with a clicker.)

Ultimate Challenge: Avoid This

It will be hard but you must not feel sorry for your beloved dog. Remember that when you see him hoping for food, there is nutritious dog food in his bowl that is going to nourish him and make him feel much healthier than that corn muffin he’s making sad dog noises for.

You know he is well fed. You provide him with the highest quality dog food and best dog treats there is. Prevent your dog from getting sick by sticking to his regular doggy kibble or wet food during feeding time.

Sources:

  1. Burwell, Jim. “6 Easy Steps To Getting Your Dog To Stop Begging For Food.” Petiquette, 24 Sept. 2018, Accessed 2 Nov. 2018. www.petiquettedog.com/6-easy-steps-dog-stop-begging-food/.
  2. “How to Handle a Dog Begging for Food.” Cesar’s Way, 16 Dec. 2015, Accessed 2 Nov. 2018. www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/food-and-treats/will-beg-for-food.
  3. Tucker, Nancy. “How To Prevent Your Dog from Begging For Food.” Whole Dog Journal, 1 July 2015, Accessed 2 Nov. 2018. www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/18_7/features/How-To-Prevent-Your-Dog-Begging-For-Food_21254-1.html.
  4. “How to Stop Your Dog From Begging at the Table.” WebMD, Accessed 2 Nov. 2018. www.pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/begging-table-dogs#1.

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