Dog Begging Behavior

Learn about begging behavior and how to stop dog begging

See also advice for dog problems and free help for dog behavior problems

dog beggingDogs usually beg for two main things: food and your attention. Your dogís begging behavior may involve him staring at you, sitting in front of you, pawing you, hitting you with his nose, and whimpering or barking to get what he wants.

Dog begging behavior can be extremely annoying and it definitely classifies as bad dog manners.

A dog who begs from you will indiscriminately beg from others. This could involve embarrassing situations where your dog attempts to beg from visitors to your home and even strangers on the street.

Dog Begging Behavior for Food

Food begging behavior occurs any time youíve settled down to eat and your dog sees this as a chance to eat too, so he begins begging for your food. For example, you sit down on the couch to watch a movie with a nice bowl of popcorn in your lap. As soon as you reach for your first handful, you feel a wet nose on your knee.

Your dog is giving you the full treatment with his puppy dog eyes, and he even lifts his paw to put it on the couch. This is a classic situation of food begging.

Attention Begging Behavior in Dogs

Attention begging happens when youíre paying attention to something other than your dog and he tries to refocus your attention on him. This can be when youíre paying attention to something or someone. Your dog wants to be the center of attention and doesnít understand why youíd want to pay attention to anything or anyone other than him. You sit down to check your email on the computer and your dog sits next to you and begins to whine. This is attention begging behavior.

About Dog Begging Behavior

begging dogNow itís time to face facts, the truth is that whether your dog begs for food or attention, he begs because someone (probably you!) taught your dog that begging behavior gets rewarded. If youíve ever been around a dog that has never ever been fed from the table, youíll see that when people sit down for a meal, the dog has little interest in whatís going on and he doesnít approach the table hoping to get some scraps of food.

The only dogs that donít beg are those who have been taught that begging behavior just doesnít work. But donít worry if you or someone else has taught your dog to beg. The saving grace is that if your dog begs for attention or food or both, you can easily break him of this habit.

When you are training your dog not to beg, make sure your entire household is on board. Because your dog learns to beg by someone indulging his begging behavior, everyone who comes in contact with your dog must resolve to help him stop begging. If your dog lives with several people, all family members or roommates must resist rewarding begging behavior or your dog wonít ever be cured.

When your dog begins to beg for attention or food, simply do not comply with his request. If you stop indulging your dog when he begs, he will learn that the behavior is useless and he will stop begging.

Methods to Stop Dog Begging

When you train your dog to stop begging behavior for food or attention, use the following methods:

Part One: Stop Dog Begging for Food

When youíve collected your food and begin to eat, you will ignore your dogís begging behavior by never giving him any food from your plate whatsoever. This includes not letting your dog lick your plate when youíre through eating.

Feeding your dog from the table can be a hard habit to break, but when you stop feeding your dog from your plate, he will beg less and less until he completely gives up. You must be consistent in never giving your dog any food from your plate. If you feel tempted, know this - as soon as you give your dog so much as a little crust of bread from your plate, youíll reinforce his old begging behavior instantly and youíll have to go back to square one.

Another helpful way to curb food begging is to get your dog interested in something else while you are eating. A great way to do this is to feed your dog or give your dog a bone at the same time youíre eating your meals. This way, your dog wonít have much time to beg from you and it takes away any feelings of guilt you may have about not sharing your food with your dog.

Part Two: Stop Dog Begging for Attention

To eliminate attention begging, whenever you are doing something without your dog, you will ignore all of his attempts to get your attention. This means that no matter what your dog does to grab your attention, youíll continue what youíre doing without giving him what heís desperately seeking. To ignore your dog, you will not speak to him, make eye contact with him or touch him in any way.

Just like with food begging, as soon as you do anything to give in to your dogís begging, youíve again taught him that begging gets him what he wants, so you must be consistent and not indulge your dog with attention when he begs for it. Over time, your dog will learn that begging for your attention is not a good way to get it and he will stop begging.

Attention begging can be tougher for you to put a stop to because you may have existing feelings about your dog begging for attention and those can get in your way of being effective. You may feel guilty at times for not giving your dog attention and you may also think that itís kind of cute for your dog to beg for your attention. Try to overcome these feelings by giving your dog plenty of quality time every day and then stick to the method when you need to give attention to something or someone other than your dog.