Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

Begging for food

2328 Views 24 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Willow518
Hello, I'm new to this site. I did not search for similar problems as mine because I have done so much research on this topic and all I see is the same suggestion. Don't give food to the dog off of your plate. Well we never have.
My husband and I adopted 2 Jack Russel terriers. The male is 7 and the female is 5. Apparently their previous owner fed them table scraps all the time. The female, Chello, will just sit there and stare at you while you're eating. The male, Banjo, hops up and down - whimpers and just makes a downright nuisance of himself. He's driving my husband crazy to the point that he doesn't want to keep him.
We've had them for about 3 months now. Not once have we given them any of the food we have been eating. Every site we've gone to has said to break the behavior, just stop giving them food. I would think after 3 months, if this were to work, it would have by now.
We've tried putting him in other rooms and crating him. We can't even enjoy our food for all the barking and whining and whimpering. It's really making my husband miserable which in turn is making me miserable. Is this a lost cause with a 7 year old male dog? I don't want to give him up and I don't want to separate the dogs, they have always been together, but this is becoming extremely unbearable. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

21 - 25 of 25 Posts
Haven't found anything to stop the stare, though, short of tossing her a t-bone steak!
Heh, I think they are just going to stare. After all, you have something they want. Badly. :)

I don't know if dogs can wish they had something, but that's what that stare feels like.
I've always just only rewarded them for not begging. Eventually I teach a command "quit beggin" which means move away and stop staring at me.

I also teach them to "leave it" if I put a piece of food on the floor to teach them some patience and impulse control first.

I also train them to balance food on their nose until I say "ok" and other tricks that make them wait and learn patience for food like teaching them never to take food from my hand unless I say "ok".

After a while they learn that they can still get food without begging, and that being patient and turning away can actually get them what they want.

I believe my last dog was 2-3 years old before she really got it all together. She would still beg, or even do the sit up and beg trick, but if I said quit begging she would calmly go lay down in the corner and not sit and stare. She usually got her share of scraps afterwards.

But she was taught from a puppy not eat food from my hand without an "ok", to balance food on her nose for as long as it took, to never eat from a plate, no matter what was on it or even if it was on the floor, etc. first. The quit begging command came after mastering lots of self control training.
See less See more
Well I wanted to give a quick update. The kongs have seemed to work for the first half of dinner lol. The other half is spent telling him to lay down and stay. I think after a week or so of continuously doing that he will get the hang of it and just do it on the first command. It took him about 3 weeks to sleep quietly in the crate at night. Now all I have to do is just take him to the crate...I don't have to nudge him in anymore, he'll walk in on his own and stay quiet the rest of the night. It just took some persistence on my part and it paid off so I'll have to use persistence again with this.
Thanks again all for the suggestions and personal experiences.

what about putting a portion of the dogs dinner in the kong in his crate?

Your dog will then have something to eat in another room or quite a bit away from you, and it would take your dog longer to eat than just putting the dinner in his bowl.
Sorry, when I posted my update I didn't realize there was a second page of replies.
TxRider, those are awesome ideas! I will give those some thought and work at something like that. I don't know if I'll be able to teach them to balance food on their noses lol, but I love it, that's great. I could learn a lot from reading the posts here.

Thanks so much,

21 - 25 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.