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Dog Tip: Begging

By Robin Tierney

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Why do dogs beg? Because dogs do what works. If your dog begs, chances are, that someone in your household or in the dog's past household rewarded the begging behavior to some degree.

Why is rewarding begging behavior a problem? Because the dog will continue engaging in the behavior as long as it works some of the time. And by indulging the behavior, you put yourself in a position of obeying your dog's commands.

Dogs think about relationships in terms of who is in charge. If the dog is challenging authority, he may interpret your giving up food as a subordinate act, which can lead to problems with dominance aggression.

So often, pet owners unintentionally teach dogs to engage in bad behavior by rewarding annoying behaviors such as begging, whining, barking and pawing. Writes Brian Kilcommons in Paws to Consider (co-authored by Sarah Wilson), the dog, in essence, is turning you into a slot machine.

Eliminating begging:

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Last Updated: August 17, 2014 (LET) PawSupport