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Tip of the Month: Begging

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Dog Begging
  • To prevent begging, it is best to never feed your dog any table scraps, particularly while still sitting at the kitchen table. Occasionally feeding your dog from the table can make begging worse–this is called random reinforcement, which is similar to gambling at a slot machine. (Not knowing for certain if you are going to get rewarded can make the behavior persist more strongly than when reinforcement is certain.) So even occasionally feeding your dog from the table should be avoided.
    ~Christina Shusterich , BA, CBC, NY Clever K9 Inc., Queens, NY

  • My clients are sometime embarrassed that their dogs beg, but I always tell them that a behavior is only bad if it is dangerous to the dog, family, and visitors; bothersome to people or the dog; or causing the dog stress. If you enjoy those forlorn starving eyes watching while you eat, that’s okay. You can even teach your dog that it is only okay to beg from certain people (but don’t feed your dog any table food, as many of the foods we eat can make your dog sick). If you live with someone who enjoys those begging eyes but you don’t, simply ignore the dog whenever you have food. Don’t look at him, don’t talk to him, and don’t touch him. He will get the message that you are not going to share.
    ~Daina Beckman , Dog Behavior Specialist, Happy Tails Dog Behavior & Training, Hornell, NY

  • Does your dog beg at the table? Ignore him! Do not give him a tidbit! When he gets bored because you are not giving him anything and moves away from the table, throw a tidbit to where he is sitting. Do not call him over to you. Rewarding him when he’s away from the table will encourage him to stay away from it and wait for good things to come to him.
    ~Elaine Coupé, For Pet’s Sake & Memphis Agility, Oakland, TN

Have a Tip for your fellow dog lovers? Share it below!

Excerpted from Top Tips from Top Trainers – 1001 Practical Tips and Techniques for Successful Dog Care and Training © 2010 T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Used by Permission.

Website: http://www.petbookexpress.com

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