Begging - What to Do to Kill the Habit

Dr. Purushothaman
January 12, 2014

Begging is a dog behavior that can cause embarrassment when it happens in public places. You will not feel proud to be a dog owner is this is exhibited by your dog. However, you have to know that you may have a contribution for molding your dog to demonstrate such behavior. The reason for that unwanted behavior is that you may unknowingly have trained him to do it by tolerating him when he was still younger.
You may not agree and say that you have wanted this to stop and that it was uncontrollable. This may be true in some sense but somehow you may have been inconsistent in correcting the unwanted behavior. Acknowledging the cause of the behavior is very important before you can solve it and it is necessary to assess what has happened in the past. Once this is done, it will be easy for you to move on to solve the problem.
The little bits and pieces of food that were tossed to him when he was still a puppy made him think that it is alright to ask for food and each time you tossed something, his memory retains it and makes it a habit. Your generosity during his puppy stage has been brought when he became older and now he is no longer that cute and your heart is no longer as soft to give him a part of the steak that you are eating compared when he was still a cute puppy. Now, the habit has been formed and it needs to be corrected.
You will now have to retrain and make him undo what he has learned. You should no longer give in to his begging. It will be helpful to confine him to another place while your family eats your lunch or dinner. It is also important for every member of the family not to share food with your dog anytime. The message that you want to give to your dog is that whatever effort he exerts to beg for food, he will never be given any amount of attention. Hence, he can exhibit another unwanted behavior like whining or howling. Whatever he would do, you should never give in. The message should be clear. In time, he will understand and keep the message in mind and the behavior will be modified. You only have to be consistent and never break the rule.
Solving dog begging problem requires rigid and focused training. Having a reference for the implementation of effective measures to address this will be very helpful.

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