Begging for

Managing Your Dog’s Persistent Begging

Ever been in the middle of a lovely family dinner, the smell of your favorite dish wafting through the air, only to find a pair of puppy eyes staring up at you? You’re not alone! It’s a familiar sight in many homes with dogs. They sit by your feet, their noses twitching, their eyes fixed on every forkful of food as it travels from your plate to your mouth. Every bite you take is accompanied by a soft whimper or an intense gaze. It’s adorable, right? Well, not until it becomes a persistent problem that disrupts every mealtime.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into this issue, exploring why dogs beg during our meals, how to identify the signs, what triggers this behavior, and how to effectively manage it. With the right knowledge and strategies, you can ensure peaceful meal times for everyone in the family, furry members included! So, let’s jump right in, shall we?
Begging for

Understanding the Begging for Food Behaviour

Begging for food is a common behavior in dogs, often seen as endearing or annoying by their owners. While it’s natural for dogs to be interested in food, persistent begging can become a problematic behavior. Here are a few reasons why dogs engage in this behavior:
  • Conditioning

    If a dog has been fed from the table or given scraps during meal times, they have been conditioned to expect food when humans eat. This can encourage begging behavior.

  • Hunger or Diet Issues

    If a dog’s diet is not fulfilling their nutritional needs, or if they’re not fed regularly, they may beg for food due to hunger.

  • Attention Seeking

    Dogs often associate begging with receiving attention. If begging results in attention, even negative attention like scolding, it can reinforce the behavior.

  • Natural Scavengers

    Dogs are natural scavengers and are instinctively attracted to different food smells. The enticing smells coming from human food can prompt begging behavior.

  • Boredom

    Sometimes, dogs might beg for food out of boredom. If they’re not mentally or physically stimulated, they might turn to begging as a way to interact and get attention.

  • Learned Behavior

    Dogs are highly social and intelligent creatures. They might observe and learn from other pets in the household who beg for food and get rewarded for it.

Addressing begging behavior requires consistency, patience, and making sure your dog’s dietary and emotional needs are met. Training should focus on rewarding desired behavior and not reinforcing begging. In some cases, professional guidance from a dog behaviorist might be necessary.
Begging for

Signs of Your Dog a Dinner Time Beggar?

So, how can you tell if your dog is a habitual beggar or just occasionally hungry? Let’s discuss some tell-tale signs:
  • The Stare:

    Does your dog sit nearby and fixate on you with a longing look while you’re eating? This classic “puppy eyes” technique is a clear sign of begging.

  • Vocal Pleas:

    Some dogs might whine, bark, or make other vocal noises to get your attention and score some tasty morsels.

  • Pawing or Nudging:

    If your dog tries to get your attention by pawing at you or nudging your arm while you’re eating, it’s another sign of begging.

  • Performing Tricks Unprompted:

    Some smarty-pants dogs might start performing tricks or commands without being asked in an attempt to earn a reward (i.e., your food).

Remember, just because your dog shows these signs doesn’t mean they’re starved. Dogs love food just like we do, and they can’t resist the delicious smells wafting from your dinner plate. Now that we’ve identified the signs let’s delve into what might be causing this behavior.
Begging for

Triggers Why Your Dog Begs for Food

So, why does your lovable fur baby transform into a persistent beggar every time you sit down to eat? Well, there are several reasons:
  • It’s Worked Before:

    Dogs are smart, and they remember what works. If you’ve given in and shared your dinner even once, they’ll try it again. This inadvertent reinforcement teaches them that begging = food.

  • They’re Not Satisfied:

    Sometimes, dogs may beg because they’re still hungry after their own meal. This could be a sign that you need to reassess their diet and feeding schedule.

  • They Want What You’re Having:

    Just like kids, dogs are attracted to what you’re eating, especially if it smells and looks more interesting than their regular food.

  • They Want Attention:

    Dogs love being the center of your world. If they notice that meal times are when you’re seated and accessible, they may beg for food just to interact with you.

Understanding these triggers is the first step toward managing your dog’s begging behavior. Now let’s move on to what you can do about it.
Begging for

How to Handle Begging for Food: Do’s and Don’ts

Changing your dog’s begging habit isn’t going to happen overnight, but with consistent efforts, you can reclaim peaceful meals. Here are some do’s and don’ts to guide you:


  • Stick to a Feeding Schedule:

    Regular, balanced meals can help curb your dog’s hunger and reduce their desire to beg. Remember, they might just be hungry!

  • Create a Distraction:

    Giving your dog a puzzle toy or a long-lasting treat during your dinner time can keep them engaged and less interested in your food.

  • Teach “Go to Your Place” Command

    your dog to go to a specific spot, like a bed or a mat, during meal times. Reward them for staying in their place.


  • Don’t Give In:

    Resist those puppy dog eyes! It’s hard, but giving in just once can reinforce the begging behavior.

  • Don’t Punish Your Dog:

    Scolding or punishing your dog can create fear and anxiety, which may lead to other behavioral issues. Positive reinforcement is the way to go!

  • Don’t Feed Them Table Scraps:

    It’s easy to slip them a bit of your dinner, but this can encourage begging and potentially lead to weight issues.

Remember, every dog is different, and it may take some trial and error to find what works best for your pup. But consistency is key. Keep at it, and soon, you’ll be able to enjoy your dinner without those pleading eyes watching your every bite.
begging for
PetSafe Treat & Train Manners Minder Remote Reward Dog
The PetSafe Treat & Train Manners Minder Remote Reward Dog Trainer is a remote-controlled reward system that uses positive reinforcement to train dogs to behave properly. It dispenses treats to reward good behavior, helping discourage bad habits like begging for food. This tool can be highly effective in redirecting your dog’s attention from begging during meal times.

Key Features

Remote-controlled reward system
Uses positive reinforcement for training
Dispenses treats to reward good behavior
Has an extendable target wand for precise positioning
Comes with a training manual for guidance
Equipped with a handheld remote that works up to 100 feet away


Encourages good behavior through positive reinforcement
The remote control allows for control even from a distance
Comes with an instructional guide for effective training
The treat dispenser is an effective distraction from begging


It’s on the expensive side
Some dogs may become overly fixated on the machine
The machine may jam if not cleaned regularly
Requires consistent training to see results
Pet Corrector Spray for
The Company of Animals Pet Corrector is a simple and effective tool that emits a hissing sound to interrupt unwanted behaviors, such as begging for food. The unexpected sound distracts and surprises the dog, breaking its focus on begging.

Key Features

Emits a hissing sound to interrupt unwanted behavior
Easy to use and portable
Can be used to correct a variety of unwanted behaviors
Comes in different sizes
Pack includes a training guide
Does not contain any harmful propellants


Effective in interrupting and discouraging unwanted behaviors
Easy to use and carry around
Comes with a training guide to aid in proper use
Suitable for use with dogs of all breeds and sizes


The sound might scare some sensitive dogs
Needs to be used responsibly to avoid creating fear or anxiety
The effectiveness might decrease over time if the dog gets used to the sound
Needs to be used consistently for effective results
Pet Training Clicker with Wrist
The STARMARK Pro-Training Dog Clicker is a simple yet effective training tool that can be used to discourage begging behavior. The clicker is used to mark desirable behavior, which is then rewarded, helping the dog understand what behaviors are expected.

Key Features

Helps with positive reinforcement training
Suitable for training dogs of all ages
Made of stainless steel that won’t rust
Comes with a step-by-step training guide
The clicker has a comfortable grip
Includes a wristband for easy carrying


Encourages good behavior through positive reinforcement
Comes with a training guide to help new users
Its small size makes it portable and easy to use
Suitable for dogs of all breeds and sizes


Requires consistent use for effective results
Training may take time, and results are not immediate
The click sound may not work well with noise-sensitive dogs
The effectiveness relies heavily on the owner’s commitment to the training process
Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo
Outward Hound Fun Feeder Dog Bowl is a slow feeder designed to make meal times last up to ten times longer. It can keep your dog engaged with their own food instead of begging for yours. Its unique design turns mealtime into a fun challenge, helping to promote healthy eating habits.

Key Features

Slows down eating up to 10 times
Promotes fun and healthy eating
Helps prevent bloating and canine obesity
Comes in different sizes and colors
Made from food-safe materials
Dishwasher safe on the top rack


Slows down feeding time, reducing begging behavior
Turns mealtime into a fun activity for your dog
Made of safe, non-toxic materials
Helps prevent health issues related to fast eating


Some dogs may get frustrated with the slow feeding process
The plastic material may not be durable for aggressive chewers
The bowl may slide around on smooth floors
Some food pieces might be hard to extract, leading to the dog losing interest
Kong Classic Dog Toy-
The KONG Classic Dog Toy is a durable and versatile toy that can be filled with treats or kibble. This can keep your dog occupied and mentally stimulated, helping reduce unwanted behaviors like begging for food. It’s made from durable natural rubber, suitable for moderate chewers.

Key Features

Can be filled with treats or kibble
Helps with mental stimulation and satisfies instinctual needs
Made from durable, natural rubber
Great for moderate chewers
Available in different sizes to suit all breeds and sizes of dogs
Can be frozen for longer-lasting play


Keeps dogs engaged and reduces begging behavior
Its durability makes it suitable for long-term use
Can be frozen to prolong playtime and soothe teething puppies
Suitable for dogs of all breeds and sizes


Some dogs may not show interest in the toy
Can be messy if filled with wet food or peanut butter
May not be durable enough for aggressive chewers
Finding the right size for your dog might be challenging
PetSafe Ricochet Electronic Dog
The PetSafe Ricochet Electronic Dog Toy is an interactive toy that encourages dogs to use their instincts to chase and pounce. The toy produces an engaging squeak sound in one toy when the other toy is moved, keeping the dog occupied and reducing attention-seeking behaviors such as begging for food.

Key Features

Encourages chasing and pouncing through engaging sounds
Interactive play with two connected toys
Toys automatically shut off after 60 minutes of inactivity
Long-lasting battery life
Made from durable material suitable for long playtimes
The squeak sound can be turned off when needed


Provides interactive play to keep dogs engaged
Can effectively reduce attention-seeking behaviors like begging
Durable design that’s suitable for long playtimes
The automatic shut-off feature saves battery


Not suitable for aggressive chewers
Some dogs may not respond to the sounds
Might not be as effective for dogs not interested in toys
Batteries need to be replaced over time
ZippyPaws Food Buddies Burrow, Interactive Squeaky Hide and Seek Plush Dog
ZippyPaws Food Buddies Burrow is an interactive plush toy set that challenges your dog to burrow out the characters from their hiding places. This interactive play can keep your dog entertained and reduce their interest in begging for food.

Key Features

Interactive hide and seek plush toy
Keeps dogs entertained and engaged
Squeaky toys provide added interest
Soft texture that’s gentle on your dog’s mouth
Available in a variety of designs and themes
Suitable for dogs of all sizes


Interactive play can distract from begging behavior
The squeaky toys offer added entertainment
Soft texture is gentle on dogs’ mouths
Suitable for dogs of all sizes and breeds


Not suitable for aggressive chewers
Some dogs may quickly lose interest in the toy
Squeaker can be destroyed easily by some dogs
The small parts can be a choking hazard if destroyed
Pet Zone IQ Treat
The Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball is a fun, interactive way to reward your dog and keep them occupied. The ball can be filled with treats or kibble, gradually dispensing food as your dog plays. This can keep your dog occupied during meal times and reduce begging behavior.

Key Features

Interactive treat-dispensing dog toy
Adjustable difficulty levels for continued interest
Made of durable, non-toxic material
Promotes slow eating
Easy to clean and refill
Available in two sizes


Keeps dogs entertained and reduces begging behavior
Difficulty levels can be adjusted to keep your dog interested
Promotes slow eating which is healthier for dogs
Made from durable and safe materials


Not suitable for aggressive chewers
Some dogs may lose interest if the difficulty level is too high
Can be challenging to clean
Some dogs might find it hard to get the treats out


Having a dog begging at the dinner table can disrupt meal times and lead to unwanted behaviors. But, with a little patience, consistent training, and possibly the help of some pet-friendly products, you can help your furry friend understand that begging isn’t the way to get what they want
So, ready to enjoy your next meal in peace? Here’s to quieter, more relaxed dinner times ahead!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does my pet beg for food?
Pets beg for food due to learned behavior. If they’ve been rewarded with food when begging in the past, they learn to repeat the behavior to get more treats.
Are certain breeds more prone to begging for food?
Any breed can develop begging habits, but those predisposed to obesity or known for their love of food, like Labradors, might beg more frequently.
Can begging for food lead to obesity in pets?
Yes, if begging leads to extra feeding, especially of calorie-dense human foods, it can contribute to weight gain and obesity in pets.
What are some strategies to stop begging behavior?
Consistent training, creating physical barriers during meal times, or providing distraction with toys or chews can help. Remember, don’t reward begging with food.
Can I feed my pet table scraps if they beg?
It’s not advisable as many human foods are unhealthy or even toxic to pets. It also reinforces the begging behavior. If you want to give them a treat, use pet-specific ones.
What should I do if my pet begs for food?
Ignore the begging behavior, don’t feed them from the table, and only reward calm behavior. You can also provide them with their own toy or treat during meal times.

More from PetMeetly

Share This

Share this post with your friends!