Ignoring the wide eyes and pleading whimpers can be tough task for any dog owner. The winter holiday season in particular is prime begging season for dogs across the world. The influx of delicious food and new holiday visitors presents ample opportunities for your adorable dog to reinforce habits that will be hard to break. To help you this winter, Bay Animal has developed some proven strategies to prevent your dog from begging.

Never Give People Food
Rewarding a dog’s action is a surefire way to get them to repeat it. Unfortunately, this pattern works with negative behaviors as well. The root of begging is obtaining food or treats. By removing the incentive, begging becomes impractical for your dog, helping curb the behavior. Guests and children should be reminded to never give your dog food from the table or their plates.

Ignore While Begging
Refuse to give your dog any attention while he or she is begging. This will associate the action with a negative outcome. Eventually, your dog will desire your undivided attention more than getting any particular piece of food from you. In the beginning, placing your dog away from the table, in another room or on their bed, is great way to remove the temptation for both of you.

No Guilt Trips
It is important to remember that your dog is not starving or malnourished. If you are feeding your dog properly, begging is simply a luxury-seeking behavior. Refusing to give them table scraps will not lead to any lasting resentment.

Consistency is Key
Teaching takes time. The key to success is to remain consistent. Be patient, if these steps are done properly, begging can be stopped in 3-4 weeks, but don’t feel discouraged if it takes longer.