How to stop the begging

Do you wonder why do dogs beg and how you can stop your furball from begging? Dogs learn to beg because they get fed titbits. If they never got the treat they wouldn’t carry on begging. The ideal is to start off your puppy as you mean to go on. If he begs at the table, when you’re having coffee or whenever, NEVER EVER give him something you are eating.

But most of us can’t resist it when he is a cute cuddly puppy. So now we need to teach him a new behaviour because you can never ‘unlearn’ something, you have to teach something else to replace it.

There are two ways to stop the begging:

  1. No-one is to EVER give him a titbit again. But beware of the extinction burst when he can’t understand why what he previously did is no longer working. This causes him to try harder to get your attention to give him the morsel. Don’t give in to this. If you do then he has learnt the behaviour still works, he just needs to try harder.
  2. Physically keep him out of the room while the family is eating. It is a good plan to give him something to keep him busy, so that he doesn’t whine or bark – something like a stuffed Kong will keep him busy.

Wendy Wilson, behaviourist

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