Like all animals, if we and dogs perform a behaviour that results in a reward, we and them will repeat the behavior because a reward will result. If a behavior does not result in a reward, they MIGHT not have a reason to repeat it.
The reason I am using these qualifiers throughout is that dog training is an art and stopping an ingrained behaviour that is liked with reward AND the basis for life – food security, can be very difficult to break for dogs and humans.
Ever seen a fat human who should know better?
What dogs do in begging for food.
- Some dogs will just sit and look at you making you guilt into feeding them
- some dogs whine at you until they get what they want. And you give in for peace.
- bark at you – and frighten you or annoy you.
- a dog might paw at you until you give up
- climb up on the lounge to intimidate you
You might start guessing that these behaviors start out as cute and they start to be bullying you. That is because your dog knows you, you give in, or they know you are the keeper of the food. You don’t want a dog scared or anxious of you, but you also need to be the boss.
Once you lose boss status around food, its likely the rest of the dog training will go to hell.
Like many other training techniques the last thing you do is reward a dog for begging. Talking nicely, patting or giving affirmation will just make the dog more determined. We are not talking about punishing a dog, but there are many techniques the people have used successfully (see next blog) to stop dogs begging for food.
Before you stop a dog from begging you ought to work out if they are actually hungry. We will look at ways to prevent begging from a dog, but what if your dog doesn’t get enough nutrients, what if its all being fed grain rather than meat? What if you are feeding your dog at the wrong times ?
There are many things to do with diet that you can look at to make sure your dog isn’t begging because its hungry and legitimately needs food. By the way a fat dog can still crave food, because it can get fat on carbs and grains without getting proper protein into its system. You can train a dog to love sugars and salt, because you feed it human food or cheap dog food. You need to understand that its begging might be legitimate before you tell it no.