Health & Care > Pet training and behavior > Begging: The Unwanted Post-Thanksgiving Habit

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11/29/2010 01:29:09 AM by addyshuman   Send Message to addyshuman  4623  views, category: Pet training and behavior view all blogs


You probably told your guests not to feed your dog any human food this Thanksgiving. You probably tried to say it politely. Maybe they fed them human food anyway, without you looking. Or maybe you yourself caved in with their sad, longing eyes and your belly full of Thanksgiving spirit, and gave them a scrap of turkey.


Now you have to pay the piper. Yes, that’s right. Every night since your guests have left the grand Thanksgiving feast, your dogs have been staring at you with the crazy, addicted-to-human food eyes. They’ve been sniffing close to your plate or sitting under the table right next to the most vulnerable family member. Waiting.


Begging. It’s a habit that can be reignited especially when you have one-time guests in town. How do you stop your dogs from being so annoying?


The solution is simple. Be over-the-top consistent, to compensate for the fall. Go back to reinforcing dog food only.  If they’re trained to a mat, have them sit on their mat while you eat and treat them every few minutes they stay there instead of planting their practiced sad face in your lap. Reinforce the no human food rule.


It’s ok. All parents/owners slip every once in awhile. We’re only human. If it’s your guests that started the problem, forgive them. They were well-meaning and indulgence is all across everyone’s minds during the holidays, especially when it comes to pets and kids. Give yourself some credit for being pretty consistent, minus the special occasions when you’re a softie.

Do, however, make sure to reinforce the no human food rule. Letting the  habit continue is very likely to lead to issues like obesity, constant diarrhea, stomach problems, and, of course, an annoying dog.


Remember, when it comes to things such as this, the expression “If you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile”. It’s completely true!

About the author: I've always loved animals and anything nature-related. I surfed for 3 years, went to Australia to study abroad in "Tropical Ecology and Marine Biology", and got my Bachelor's degree in "Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution" with a minor in Psychology.... more >>

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Member Since: 11/08/2010
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