Dogs beg because people make beggars of them! When a behavior works, a smart individual keeps using that behavior, and dogs are smart. To get your dog to stop begging, simply stop all the humans from responding to the begging by giving the dog food. That may be harder than you think! But let’s talk about WHY you need to make this change in your begging dog’s life.
In the wild, an animal grabs food when it’s available, to make it through lean times. Selective breeding has left many dogs with the desire to gorge on food, but has not been kind to the dog’s ability to get away with it.
Imagine walking down the road. Suddenly, you are confronted by a large, snarling dog heading directly for you. Try to imagine your level of fear. If you were once terrorized by a dog earlier in life, multiply that fright by a factor of ten. Your heart would race, your body would start to shake and your breathing would become shallow and rapid. These reactions are caused by a surge of hormones, such as adrenaline, often referred to as the ‘fight or flight response’. It’s how your body reacts to a perceived threat, and it’s totally normal. Some people, however, have an abnormal reaction to dogs, even if the dogs in question aren’t doing anything threatening, much less actively frightening. They feel frozen in fear and utterly helpless just walking past a well-behaved dog. Some are panicked only of certain breeds. At the far end of the spectrum are folks who are so terrified by dogs that they cannot even speak about canines without experiencing sheer terror. This irrational fear of dogs is termed cynophobia. Although spider and snake phobias are more prevalent, cynophobia is probably more common than most people think. In fact, this condition affects tens of millions of Americans.
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