Constant scrounger! How to resist those eyes
The meal is scarcely on the table and Fido’s already at his post. Wearing his best faithful basset hound face, even if he isn’t one, and cocking his expectant head to the side. He’s hoping for a piece of roast beef, a potato or even a tomato to fall his way. Main thing is – he gets something! His people can seldom resist this whole begging act. So Fido does this time and again, and learns from it. He learns just what he has to do to land a tasty morsel from the table. Dogs are opportunists, they will always do exactly whatever is to their advantage. That’s why it’s important to escape from this begging trap.
So what’s the best way to proceed?
By ignoring your dog in the future when he’s standing in front of you drooling at the mouth. Even if you feel you’re being pretty hard on him, there’s no other way! Because when Fido “just now and again and hardly ever” gets something from the table, he’ll still come and beg every time. He never knows when he’s going to get something so he’ll chance his arm, or paw! So consistency is needed. Then, through time, the dog will notice that begging doesn’t get him anywhere and he’ll stop doing it. As we said: dogs are opportunists. And when it’s not worth doing, they’ll let things be in the future.
That takes a while, of course, and you mustn’t make the famous exception. Allow your dog one single noodle from your plate and all your previous efforts will have been for nothing. If you don’t want him sitting longingly at the table then get him to lie on his blanket. If he’s been a good dog and has stayed there till you’ve finished your meal then a reward is due, but from his own snack box and in his own space and not at the table.
Get the whole family involved!
The whole family must all sing from the same song sheet here. It’s no use if you’re the only one that’s not sharing, all the other members of the family have to stick to the rules. And that also applies to visitors. Ask your guests please not to feed the dog from the table, not even during the impending Christmas festivities. At the end of the day it’s not just about the begging being a pain in the neck and not being able to take a dog that howls and barks when he doesn’t get anything into a restaurant. Much of the food we humans eat just isn’t suitable for a dog’s stomach, apart from anything else, because it’s too strongly spiced or contains onions. If you’re in any doubt as to whether all your visitors will really stick to this then simply take your dog into another room during the meal. You can sweeten him up during the wait with a tasty chew bone or a tough piece of beef hide so that he’s sensibly occupied in the meantime and can, of course, return to the people in the living or dining room when the table’s been cleared.