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Breaking a begging habit | Tips and advice

Those large eyes staring at you. “Come on, please….” it seems they are telling you. Begging may seem cute, but it can grow into a problem. That is why it is important to nip it in the bud. Here’s how to break your dog’s begging habit.

Why does my dog beg and why do I need to break the habit?

Begging refers to your dog “asking” for food or attention. This behaviour is often the result of a lack of rules or unclear boundaries. You may have given it a piece of your meat in the past, which enforced the begging behaviour. After all, it paid off. Your dog may also fail to understand what your expectations are when you sit down to eat.

It may start drooling, running around or jumping up in order to get to the food which can be quite the nuisance. Another risk of a begging dog is that it may gain too much weight. When your dog gets enough food, it doesn’t need the extra snack.

How to break the begging habit?

First make sure your dog is getting enough healthy food. Your dog may start begging because it isn’t getting enough food or because the food doesn’t contain enough nutrients. Once you’ve ensured that hunger isn’t causing the begging behaviour, you are ready to start breaking the habit. It all revolves around setting clear rules and boundaries. First ignore the begging behaviour. Do not give into it, tempting as it may be! Teach your dog that it is expected to go to its own spot when you are cooking or eating; this creates distance. Reward your dog for staying in its own spot like it should.

It may take a lot of time to get this done. You will need to be very patient and consistent just like when breaking other unwanted habits.

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