It has all happened to all of us. We are eating quietly when we suddenly notice that eyes are staring at us. We look down and discover that it is our puppy that delights us with one of his little faces "of sadness" with the hope that we want to share a little of our food with him. What to do in these cases? Our dog should not eat our food, but sometimes it is difficult to refuse. How can we get our dog to stop asking for food?
First of all ... Why does my dog order food?
As good analysts we are, we will first try to understand the reason for this behavior. It is clear that your dog wants your food because it is very likely that what you are eating is richer and more appetizing than what he eats daily. Let's face it, the feed can be very nutritious for them but over time it can be extremely boring. What you are eating, however, looks much better and smells and this can be irresistible to him.
We may also be part of the problem, since If at any time your dog has ordered food and you have provided it, we have reinforced this behavior. He knows that every time he asks you for food, you just give it to him, so he knows that doing so has his reward.
The good news is that it is a behavior that can be corrected. The not so good thing is that it can take some time and above all it requires a lot of perseverance on your part, so your involvement here is important. If you do it correctly and you are patient, the results will not take long to arrive.
How to prevent your dog from asking for food
As we have commented previously, they know that ordering food and waiting patiently has its reward. So we have to send you a clear message, no matter how much you wait you will not receive anything. That implies you, your family, and all the people with whom your dog relates. It is very important that you all collaborate, because in the case that a person continues to provide food, your work will not help.
The best thing that every time you are eating and ask for food you ignore it, do not look at it or say anything. Even if he looks at you with his "sadness" face, you should not pay attention to it. Remember that your dog should always eat from his plate, in his schedules and never ask for food. Also if you do it with other people with whom we don't have so much confidence, it might be annoying if your dog is watching them. Don't you think? Your dog will use all his weapons to persuade you, but you must be firm or else you will not get his behavior to end.
Over time your dog will understand that with that behavior he will not achieve anything, and if we are constant he will surely stop doing so. However, as we have said, dogs can be very insistent when it comes to food, and although we have been ignoring him for weeks, we may still hope to get something from us. In this case there is a trick that usually works very well: the order "to your site".
The order «To your site»
If after days ignoring your dog every time he asks for food, it doesn't work, you can try the order "to your place." With this order we tell our dog to go somewhere and stay still until we finish eating. This site may well be your little bed, or a place that is comfortable for you, always away from us. To do this we say "to your site" and accompany him there. When your dog starts to sit or lie down we say "very well" and give him a prize (his favorite toy, a caress, a treat) Every time you see him approach repeat the order "To your place."
We all know the fascination dogs have for food. Correcting a behavior when it comes to preventing them from getting something so desired can be complicated. But if we are firm and constant we can achieve good results. As a last recommendation, it would not be bad if you changed your feed, the poor also deserve to enjoy a different food from time to time, don't you think? 😉
Avoid feeding him while you eat
The first step you should take is to avoid feeding him while you are eating. If you are having breakfast, lunch or dinner, do not fall into the error of sharing your meal with him. All family members must assume that rule. If he asks for food, he tries to ignore it, otherwise, your dog will insist until he gets his way.
Establish a daily meal routine
Your dog cannot eat at any time of the day, it must have a certain schedule. For example, puppies under five months should feed at least four times a day while adult dogs should eat twice a day. If you use your pet to follow schedules you can better control their diet and health.
You can also try to feed him when you eat. This measure can be effective if you spend enough time at home.
Implement a series of rewards
If your dog insists that you give him your food, say no and order him to sit down. When you have finished eating you can reward him with a dog treat. So you will get used to not asking, since you will know that in the end a reward will await you. With the passage of time, your pet will internalize that behavior and it will no longer be necessary to have to give him a prize.
By the way, as for dog treats, remember to buy those that do not have artificial flavorings and do not forget that these types of prizes should never exceed 10% of your pet's food. You can also try a natural treat. In that sense, a healthy option is to give it a ripe fruit. Although it seems strange to you, dogs love it. You can try a piece of apple, melon or broccoli.
And if we go out to eat with our pet ...
In Spain there are some Restaurants that allow pets. Barcelona, Madrid or Gijón They take the lead in the existence of this type of establishment. Although dogs have their doors open, so that your departure does not become a gastronomic nightmare, you have to take certain precautions.
Before leaving, it is best to feed your dog. With a full belly they are less likely to start bothering.
If he is a puppy and is not yet well trained, it will surely be difficult to prevent him from barking or whining. At that age they have a lot of energy. Therefore, in those cases, The best option is that before going to the restaurant you stop at a park. In this way, when you arrive, your dog will already be somewhat tired and will surely prefer to lie down.
If the restaurant does not have dog bowls, ask the waiter to bring you a bowl of water, so that you can keep it hydrated. And, so he doesn't get bored, you can take him some toy to get distracted.
Know your dog. If you have indications that he or she is scared to see other people or other dogs, perhaps eating out together may not be the best idea. Therefore, make sure your dog follows your orders when you say words like "sit", "still", "come" or "down". If your puppy cannot follow these basic rules of behavior, it is best not to take it with you.
Finally remember that even if your pet has a good behavior, while you are walking in a public space or eating in a restaurant, Your dog should always remain tied and if necessary with a muzzle.
Teaching my dog not to ask for food
There is only one reason why dogs approach us when we are preparing food or when we are sitting at the table already eating. And that reason is, that on occasion they have received food in any of those situations.
It is really incredible the ability to memorize that dogs have, they may not use this memory when they We teach not to throw the leash during the ride, but they make full use of it when it comes to remembering when they will receive food.
If on just one occasion you give your dog something to eat, while you are preparing your food…. Every time you go to the kitchen, he will go with you to see if he can get something to eat again. It is not a good habit and sometimes it can be annoying.
The only way to correct this situation is to never give him food while we prepare the food, have dinner or pick up the table. We must teach our dog that he has his own schedules, breakfast, lunch and dinner (breakfast and dinner in some cases of very old dogs).
Dogs are animals of routines, if we give them breakfast every day at nine in the morning, and we decide not to give them a day…. Although they do not have a clock, at nine in the morning they will go find us to put their breakfast. We must always respect their meal schedules, but we must never give them food outside those hours (except for prizes when we are educating them and always outside the home).
Being persevering and disciplined is the only solution to avoid this type of behavior. If we do not give them food outside their schedules, they will eventually give up their attempt to rap something and stop these situations from happening. And beware, it is no good to stop giving them a piece of food for a week or two, and then give them a day something, because they deserve it or because it is a special day…. there we will be losing absolutely all the work done.
If it is a special day, we can give you something special to eat but in your meal schedule and in your feeder, not otherwise. Our perseverance is the only way to prevent our dog from begging for food.
If he sits beside us insistently waiting for us to give him something, we can send him to his bed, but we must never scold him since he is not really doing anything wrong. Just wait for food, because surely we have already given it to you.
In a matter of two or four weeks, this bad habit usually disappears and our dog will give up completely, starting to play or sleeping, instead of waiting for food.
If you feel bad because you are eating and not, because it puts you eyes, or whatever ... You can always make your dinner and yours coincide. In this way he will go to his feeder to eat and you will have some minutes to eat quietly. If you like your food more than yours ... something that often happens in dogs that only eat I think, you may surprise him with some BARF food recipe Or you can add some canned tuna on your feed, to give it a new and spectacular flavor, as an example.
Remember that perseverance is the only way to properly educate our dog. And on this occasion, we must always be persevering.
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