When Begging Goes Awry, or, the Time Shiva Ate the Living Room

I’ve never had an issue with begging. I feel it’s natural for a dog to want to share in the family meals. It helps her feel like she belongs. So we have a strict begging allowed rule in our house. To be clear, this rule has its restrictions. Shiva is only allowed to beg from a distance while laying quietly on her mat.

It’s only after reading a post on The Chronicles of CardiganΒ that I’ve started to wonder if we have a problem. I was stunned by the fact the writer was so shocked when her dogs begged for and enjoyed an orange fruit. Shiva begs for everything. Everything. If we’re eating it, she wants it. She’ll even beg for mushrooms, the only food she doesn’t like. I made a point in The Chronicles of Cardigan comment section that she will beg for mushrooms, spit them out, then beg for them again when I pick them up off the floor.

Here is a typical afternoon in our house:

Me: Lalalalalalala. I think I will make a nice, boring snack of boiled lima beans.*

Shiva: It’s sharing time!

Me: No, Shiva, it isn’t sharing time. You already had a Kong full of yummy fish snacks. These are my bland beans.

Shiva: It’s sharing time!

Me: It’s not sharing time. Dogs don’t like lima beans. I am pretty sure it says that in the Dog Bible. Why don’t you go find the section?

Shiva: It’s sharing time!

Me: It’s not sharing time. Seriously.

Shiva: IT’S SHARING TIME!

Me: Okay, okay, fine. Jeepers, you’d think I was eating lettuce.** Here.

Shiva: (swallows the bean in negative ten seconds) It’s sharing time!

Me: I wonder what the Dog Training Bully*** would say about me giving in to you like this.

Shiva: More, please! (swallows the entire bowl)

Me: Sorry, Sheevs, they are all gone.

Shiva: It’s sharing time!

Me: There is nothing to share. You ate everything already!

Shiva: (swallows the couch)**** It’s sharing time!

Is this not normal?

*I have never and will never eat lima beans. They aren’t allowed in my house. I used them in this story to makeΒ a point. Please don’t question my mental health.Β 

**Shiva loves lettuce. To the point of adoration. I don’t get it either.

***The Dog Training Bully i(DTB) s not Cesar Millan. I’ve written about him here. As this person has been known to sue bloggers for disagreeing with him, I am reluctant to use his actual name. That’s how much of a bully he is.

****Shiva would never eat the couch. Her jaw isn’t big enough. The DTB has stated that if you give in to your dog, he will eat your house. This is my attempt to make fun of him.*****

*****When one’s post-script section is longer than one’s post, one might have a problem. I will stop now.

22 thoughts on “When Begging Goes Awry, or, the Time Shiva Ate the Living Room

  1. How can you sue someone for disagreeing with you? Pop me his name in an e-mail, I’ll mess with him. πŸ˜‰

    What determines begging? Is it Delilah sitting in front of me with drool hanging 6 inches off her mouth, or her smacking her lips? Oh, yes then there is begging in our house too. πŸ™‚

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  2. originally, we swore we were not going to allow desmond to have any people food and he was going to be taught not to beg. then a friend of ours fed him all kinds of things at little BBQ we had. it was downhill from there (and, really, we WANT to share with him. we like that bond and think it’s fun and enjoy watching him experience new foods–when he actually tastes them instead of inhaling directly into the stomach).

    now, for certain foods, he begs. not so bad that he’s jumping on us or trying to steal the food from our plates, but he will sit in front of us with the saddest facial expression ever created by a dog and stare. if that doesn’t work, he adds in some whining. if THAT doesn’t work, he lies down, continues to whine, and inches his way over until he’s got his head on your foot.

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  3. I saw a little cartoon Shiva dislocating her jaw like a python to swallow the couch whole… πŸ™‚

    Barbie is good at begging by lying politely on her bed. She pretends she is not begging, but she is watching you out of the corner of her eye. The only thing I ever share with the dogs is apples – they love the apple core, so when I’m finished I bite it in half and toss the halves to the dogs…. Bender is way too full on to allow him to share more than that….

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  4. I laughed when I read your post this morning – however I must confess that the begging may be more the fault of the PH. The description of Shiva’s behavior reminds me of a couple of our dogs. They would lay in the back porch while we were eating – and I am sure they sucked in their stomaches so they looked like they were starving. Learned behavior of the PH transfers to learned behavior of Shiva. Kita stays under the table while we are eating – and when one of us gets up to clear the table – she goes and sits by her dish – if she doesn’t get anything she lays on her back and wags her tail. If she still doesn’t get anything she goes to her basket and turns her back on us.

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  5. Loved this post. Begging is inevitable here, and I agree it is a natural thing for a dog to do. I however do not like dogs who are all up on you while begging. IMO there is nothing wrong with setting some begging boundaries. Luna will take anything from anyone at least once, and often will not even chew it. Wyatt savors more often (and to think he is the lab). If I am cooking in the kitchen the dogs are not allowed in and will watch from the perimeter or not even care at all. Somtimes I will silently drop bits into their bowl for whoever finds it first. I have to be very quiet about this as Luna has ears for it. Other times I will put bowls up so they have to wait till dinner. Luna is so smart that she actually will come into the kitchen when she hears me snipping things with the scissors as that is usually what my mom and I used for meat, and she used to get the trimmings. It’s not the smell of meat that does it as she won’t come check things out unless she hears the scissors even if I am cooking meat. I gave Wyatt a lemon once to see what he would do, but took it away as he actually was eating it and I didn’t want him throwing up from it.
    Silly dogs
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

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  6. This is hilarious! Turk and Rufus know better than to beg, but our foster Ginger is another story. If I take her with me to our local doggy boutique, she jumps up and places her paws on the counter until she gets a treat. When given a treat, she does it again, and again, and again. I’ve tried explaining to them that I would prefer it if she only got treats for completing a desired behavior, but they don’t listen. Ugh. I guess I just need to stop taking her to the doggy boutique. 😦

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    • It is SO hard to restrain myself from rewarding those behaviors at my doggie boutique! I just love it when dogs are so enthusiastic about visiting. I don’t give them treats when jumping up but I don’t always make them sit nicely for one either. They do get enormous amounts of love when they do such cute (but bad, I know) stuff!

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  7. Hahahaha! I would not underestimate Shiva’s ability to eat a couch. I’m over here desperately knocking on wood for you. I know Hurley would eat the couch if he thought it contained a crumb of anything remotely edible and he wasn’t able to get at it.. Except lettuce. They all hate lettuce at my house.

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  8. I know begging is supposed to be BAD BAD BAD, but I simply don’t have that kind of patience. Oly and Stella wont leap into our lap to get food, but they will sit there on the rug and look at you with very hungry eyes. And I get it, I would want some dinner too!

    I have to admit I do encourage it a little with Stella. I mean, she is so anti social that when I saw that food got her going, and that us cooking would get her to come hang out near us, I treated her. YEP. I TREATED MY DOG WHEN SHE BEGGED BECAUSE I WANTED HER TO LIKE ME.

    Man I suck at dog training.

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  9. Hi Kristine, our mom and dad (mostly our dad) give us stuff if we stare at them (him) long enough. But when they (he) says “all done”, we go away. We each get something so there’s no competition but sometimes if we don’t gobble it down, one or two of us can have “guarding” issues. Oh yes, everyone but me (Sam) likes romaine lettuce. Yah, I don’t get it either.

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  10. Begging is allowed here, but Elka works for what she gets. Sit, at minimum. Other tricks at our discretion.

    I’m sure Elka would like lima beans. She likes green beans, and carrots, and will mug you for an apple….

    Screw the Dog Bully. He doesn’t come here, and if he did, I’d invite him off of my porch with a shotgun.

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  11. Gwynn LOVES oranges… loves them more than bananas. I’ve gotten so used to sharing clementines with him that when I peel one at work, I eat a piece and then look around, like, “your turn!”… blows my mind to eat an entire clementine on my own. Begging definitely happens at our house. We try to maintain a degree or two of separation between people-food-on-my-plate and people-food-given-to-dog, but he does get some. It’s usually along the lines of pick something off the plate, leave the room with begging Gwynn and get him to do something obediency to get the piece of whatever.

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  12. We don’t do human food because we had major weight issues with our previous two dogs. But that doesn’t stop our current two from wanting our food- especially our Beagle. As far as I can tell, there is no training a Beagle not to beg. She also has no plate respect and if you turn your head for a second, she’ll go after whatever’s on there. Sometimes you don’t even have to turn your head!
    Our Terrier actually polices her more than we do. He knows he’s not allowed anything off the plate, so darn it, he’s going to keep her from getting anything, too.

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  13. Okay, I was shocked that they wanted to eat the orange, not that they were begging. They would beg for a turnip (ew!) if someone was eating it. (And they’d probably spit it out and then forget they don’t like them, just like Shiva and her fungus.) I guess I just stupidly assumed dogs don’t like citrus and, well, now I can’t eat them without Dewi making drool puddles.

    My first dog wouldn’t eat any fruit or veggie – she could root a green bean out of a barrel of slop. πŸ™‚

    Maybe you should get a kitty bouncer (PupFan’s name for Eva) to discourage Shiva. No, on second thought, just enjoy Shiva staring at you from her mat. πŸ˜‰

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  14. In some cases, I think that the begging might actually be more about the attention than the actual food. I mean, obviously it’s actually about the food sometimes, but in cases like the mushroom thing, I tend to think that the dog is getting more out of just having that interaction.

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  15. I think they figure that if we are eating it, it must be good! Cali will beg for everything too (and we don’t give her much because of her allergies!) If I drop lettuce on the floor she will just walk away .. it’s so funny that Shiva likes lettuce!! Cali’s favorite is bananas!

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  16. Meh, I don’t think that begging is a big deal, as long as it is done politely. Dexter & Jersey leave puddles of drool on the floor while they are waiting for me to dispense my lunch/dinner. They always get something, so they wait quietly until I decide that it is time for them to get a snack.

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  17. Rotflmao, I love this post. A few things 1. I seriously couldn’t get Allie Brosh and Hyperbole & a Half’s Simple dog out of my mind this whole post. So awesome. 2. Take out all the Shiva’s and replace all the Kol’s and you pretty much have our house. I, being the strong and sensible type, never give in to his begging, while the Nana and the Daddy seriously think it’s cute. As long as he begs *politely*, I will share most things with him – when I am done and only as a reward for some sort of trick.

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  18. Awesome post, Kristine! Ty begs for everything too – lettuce, celery, but bananas are his absolute favorite. And I’m *bad* about giving in – to the point that the boys get a chunk of my banana almost every morning. So far neither of them has learned to unhinge their jaws and eat the sofa, or anything else in our little rolling home. Perhaps DTB disagrees with my behavior, but I really wouldn’t want it any other way.

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  19. I do the exact same thing with my Minpin Henry…..begging is allowed….quietly, calmly and at a distance. I think this encourages good behavior, as long as he’s calm and good sometimes he’ll get a treat from the table. He’ll eat anything too, he loves baby carrots!

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