Giving your dog people food won’t make them beg

It is something we hear all the time. “I have never given my dog people food so I don’t know why they beg.” Giving your dog people food won’t make them beg. There are lots of people foods that are delicious and even healthy treats for your dog and it’s perfectly ok to indulge them every once in awhile.

Reinforcement is the trick

Here’s the key. Don’t feed them at the table and don’t feed them while you are eating. You’re dog begs because your food smells yummy. After all, you are an excellent chef! Somewhere along the way, the begging or being near the table was reinforced. Maybe you didn’t outright feed them, but is it a possibility some food may have dropped? (Guilty here.) A super sneaky pup may have been able to take a quick lick of a plate when you weren’t paying attention. Or maybe another family member hasn’t been as strict about the no feeding the dog at the table rule. (This puppy dog eyes are for real.)

Puppy dog eyes level 10: Expert

Puppy dog eyes level 10: Expert

It really is that simple. Dogs repeat behaviors that they get rewarded for. You may not be throwing a big party for them and handing them a steak as they sit next to you and look up with those big, beautiful, sad, brown eyes. The random dropped pea or even better “accidental” piece of bacon hand off might be the highlight of your dog’s day.

Need more help?

The good news is that however the dog has been reinforced to eat at the table, we can help! Give us a call to set up an appointment.

Diane OKeefe