Training Tip: Stopping the Begging Behavior - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Training Tip: Stopping the Begging Behavior

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Begging for food. How to teach your pooch to stop this behavior is one of the most commonly asked questions for the trainers at the Humane Society of Western Montana.

In our weekly training tip, Trainer Jean Biggins shows us how she keeps Bridget, a three-year-old Terrier-Cross, from encroaching on her outdoor picnic and begging for food.

"Here, at the Humane Society of Western MT, we advocate for the use of reward based training," said pet trainer, Jean Biggins. "We oppose of the use of any cruel or harsh methods of training tools. Cruel or harsh methods, that use psychological or physical intimidation will hinder the learning process, as well as damage the relationship between person and pet."

Biggins said that she focuses on rewarding the dog's good behavior by teaching it what to and managing the environment to prevent the bad. So what does this mean?

"Let's say Bridget and I are having a picnic together. I have my lunch, and Bridget's pretty sure she would like my lunch. Instead of pushing her away and saying 'no,' I'm going to teach her what I would like her to do instead. When Bridget gets interested in my plate, I can use a lure, like a treat, to teach her to go over there. Then, I can reward her for being over there."

Biggins then teaches Bridget to hang out over there and continues to reward with a treat for being over there. She never gets her food.

"She never gets the naughty things she's trying to do," added Biggins. "And over time, she's going to give up on this because it's not working for her and she's going to learn to hang out over there. So I'm focusing on 'what do I want my dog to do in the moment?', 'what do I want them to do instead?' And that's how I use positive methods to teach my dog what I want them to do."

To find out how you can bring an animal like Bridget home, click here.

 

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