Tips to Tackle Begging and Whining for Food

A little whine with your meal?

Begging may be endearing, but when your puppy grows to adulthood it loses its charm. That consistent bark through dinner may not be music and the whine at the back door may get progressively annoying. The best way to stop it – yes, you’ve heard it – is to never start. Never feed your puppy from the table. Rewarding the whine reinforces it for whatever reason he’s using it. Just avoid the difficulty later on by being strong now. When your puppy whines for any reason – other than as a signal to go out for a potty – just ignore him. Don’t even look at him. Puppies seldom repeat behaviour that doesn’t pay off. Your attention is the reward. In addition to avoiding that perpetual beg, it also supports your position as the “pack leader.” Pack leaders NEVER share their food. When the pack leader has finished his meal, he may leave some for the others.

If your puppy is already into the begging routine, it will take a little longer to break the habit, but diligence pays off. Ignore pleas. He’ll eventually get bored. The basic rules are:

  • Don’t feed him food from your plate.
  • Never give into whines. Ignore your puppy when he whines.
  • Establish a separate eating area for your puppy away from yours so confusion is minimized.