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You love your Pug, there is no escaping that. She is like your child and you don’t like leaving her alone in the house at all. Fortunately, Pugs are so small you often don’t need to as they are easy to transport. But you fear that never leaving her alone and treating her like royalty is beginning to result in some bad habits. In particular, your precious Pug is always begging. It was cute to begin with, but now you don’t want her pestering everyone when you’re sitting at the dinner table with guests. It also means you can’t relax when you take them to guests’ houses.
Training your Pug to stop begging will alleviate all of these concerns. If they are becoming clingy and getting used to being at your side, then this type of training could help prevent them developing separation anxiety. In addition, it may be healthier for you to have some more time without them attached to your hip.
Training your Pug to stop begging won’t always be easy. It will take considerable willpower from you to resist giving in to his demands, especially if he is particularly cute. Training will consist of setting some clear boundaries. You will also need to get your Pug into a consistent routine. Furthermore, you will need to get everyone in the house on board. You have to take a collective approach.
If your Pug is a puppy then their begging habit should still be relatively new. This means you could see results in just a week or two. However, if your pooch is older and persistent then you may need several weeks to fully stamp out any begging behavior. Get training right and you may even improve their health. This is because if they don’t beg, you’re less likely to run the risk of over-feeding them and them putting on weight.
Before you and your pup get to work, you will need to collect a few items. You will need a bed you can send them to as well as some toys and treats.
Set aside a few minutes each day for training. Try and find a time free from the distractions of a noisy household. You’ll also need to be as vigilant as possible.
Once you have the above, just bring enthusiasm and a positive attitude, then work can begin!
The Attitude Adjustment Method
When you are all at the table, it is important you don’t show the dog any attention. If any of you acknowledge their presence, you will only encourage them to stick around.
Sit everyone down
Sit everyone in the house down and lay out some ground rules. It’s no use you being tough and strict with the dog if everyone else gives in and feeds them. You must take an all or nothing approach.
If your Pug continues to approach the table, issue a firm ‘NO’. Don’t terrify them but make sure you get the message across. This should help set some clear boundaries when you’re eating.
Crate or bed
If the dog continue to pester even after the ‘NO’, take them by the collar to their bed or crate. It may be frustrating, but do this every time and they will soon get the message and stay put.
Make sure any food your Pug gets, they get from their bowl. Stop feeding them from your hands, plates or anything else. That way they will know the only place they can get food is their bowl.
The Bed Method
Take your Pug to their bed. Kneel a few feet away and then hold up a treat to capture their attention. You’re going to train them to go to their bed whenever instructed, such as meal times. They then won’t stick around to beg.
Issue a ‘bed’ command in a clear voice. Keep it relatively light as Pugs learn best when they think they are playing a game. At the same time as you give the command, point at the bed to draw their attention to it.
This will probably be the most time-consuming part as they learn what it is you want them to do. But don’t give in, they will eventually make their way over to their bed. In fact, as soon as they set food on the bed, give them a treat and some verbal praise.
Make it harder
Now you just need to practice several times a day. However, each time you give the instruction, stand farther away from the bed and leave the dog there for longer before you hand over a reward. The trick is to build up the time gradually.
Now all you need to do is instruct the dog to go to bed whenever they beg. Alternatively, you can send them to their bed before you start eating at the table. Soon enough you will have an effective way to rid yourself of a begging Pug.
The Removal Method
Whenever your Pug comes over to beg, instruct them to lie ‘down’ and then give a ‘stay’ command. This is their first and only chance to do as instructed. If that doesn’t work, you can upgrade to the next step.
If they get back up and wander over to you to beg, tether your pup to something close by. This will let them know that if they beg, they will lose some of their freedom.
If they beg when guests are around or you’re cooking in the kitchen, turn your back to them. Do not look or them or speak to them until they give up. This will soon get the message across that begging will not get them what they want.
You need to get your Pug into a consistent routine of eating their meals at the same times each day. If they know when their food is coming, they will be less inclined to go around begging.
Owners sometimes get frustrated or give up with this type of training. However, you simply need to be patient. You are breaking a habit and changing the way they behave, it can take time.
By James Barra
Published: 03/29/2018, edited: 01/08/2021