We found another great tutorial today – this one is about how to train dogs not to beg. The link is at the end of our commentary.
As dog owners develop a solid and trusting bond with their dogs, it can’t be helped to eventually treat a canine as a “real” member of the household. They take a nap at your feet while you are watching TV or reading the newspaper, they walk with you around a block or at the park, and they play with the kids with an endless sense of enthusiasm and vigor. That makes sense actually. Dogs after all are social in nature.
However, there are limits on the level of social interaction – for example, the dinner table. This can prove to be a problem for many dog owners: You feed the dog a couple of scraps (or someone else does) and then the next thing you know, they are relentless, pestering you for food and trying any tricks to get your attention throughout the entire meal. It gets old pretty fast: At first, it might seem cute, but as soon as your dog starts to throw off bouts of relentless whining, pawing from under the table, or circling the table, the situation expectedly turns into a frustratingly annoying mealtime. What’s more, your dog isn’t yet through with his tactics. He cleverly displays those charming, wet eyes and wags his tail in an attempt to win you over. And guess what? Most of the time, they succeed and get what they want because majority of owners find it hard to withhold food or ignore their drooling dog. This only reinforces the begging behavior of the dog.
This brings up one of the most important concepts in dog training, which is the idea of “reinforcing behavior”. The idea is that you get the behavior you reinforce, no matter whether it is the behavior you desire. Many owners think that it is in a dog’s nature to bark or to beg, and that these attributes are not possible to “train out” – however it really can be done, by learning the correct techniques and sticking to them – as opposed to just yelling at the dog, which doesn’t achieve the desired effect.
To better understand dog begging and the plan of action regarding the matter, check out this spot-on article (via web archive): http://companionanimalsolutions.com/blogs/stop-begging/