Have you ever wondered why your dog is constantly begging for food? It is usually because they are hungry, but it is also an instinctive action. Dogs have spent the last 10,000 years being domesticated by humans meaning they have learned how to interact with humans to get what they want. When dogs beg and the owners give the dog what it wants (food); it reinforces the behavior (zoeitspetcare). This means that the dog will beg every time food is in sight, because they know the owner will give in.
Dogs also originate from wolves. Wolves were scavengers so for survival purposes they would eat any food in front of them. Even if they were not hungry, they would consume food in large doses to keep their bodies warm. Before domestication wolves would hang out near human camps and scavenge for food scraps, since it was much safer than hunting for prey (zoeitspetcare). Wolves quickly understood that begging works, which we see today in dog characteristics. Dogs also find food appealing because their smell is somewhere between 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than humans (carecredit).
I have a two year old puppy named Louka and he is a beggar. Every time he sees me eating, he will run in my direction and stare with his cute puppy eyes. Almost always I fall for his trick by rewarding him with my human food . Giving into his behavior Louka has realized that begging “works” and he thinks we are encouraging him to beg for more food. This is why every time we eat he has the same repetitive begging action.
There are ways to alter your dog’s behavior pattern. The easiest being, stop feeding your dog when he is begging. Eventually they will get tired of begging, because they get nothing in return. Your dog also is in constant need of attention. While begging they are seeking attention, so you can capture attention in other ways. Take your dog out for walks or play with them. Lastly, you can reward your dog when they have good behavior. Give your dog a treat when they are sitting away from the table and not begging, rather when they are begging. If you constantly reward them when behaving well, they will keep up the good behavior (AKC).
Fun Facts About Your Dog’s Sense of Smell. (2020, May 21). CareCredit. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.carecredit.com/well-u/pet-care/how-well-can-your-dog-smell/
Dog Begging for Food? Here’s What to Do. (n.d.). Zoetis Petcare. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.zoetispetcare.com/blog/article/dog-begging-for-food
Paretts, S. (2021, April 20). How to Stop Your Dog from Begging at the Table. American Kennel Club. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/beggars-cant-be-choosers-how-to-stop-your-dog-from-begging-at-the-table/