Many dogs have this annoying habit. They would employ all the power of their large sad eyes to get a piece of that you’re eating. They would place their muzzles on your lap and look like they haven’t eaten for a week. They would make you feel ashamed of starving the poor animal. Dogs know how to get what they want. So, why are they begging so persistently? Even dogs that are not as crazy about food as Milo, sometimes beg. The answer is very simple. Dogs beg, because we taught them too. Remember: any behaviour that is reinforced will be repeated. Behaviours reinforced randomly are more likely to be repeated. If you give way to your dog’s begging even on rare occasions, he will continue begging.
I am often asked why dogs like to roll in poop and other disgusting things. In fact, a significant share of stories about Milo has to do with him rubbing some odorous things on his neck and us trying to get rid of it. So why do dogs like to smell of disgusting things? No one knows for sure, but two theories exist.
When Milo came to live with us, he had no idea about such a thing as “recall.” Let off the lead, he would just run until he was bored or hungry. Our attempts to catch him would turn into playing “tag.” Of course, we immediately started training him to come back when called. One technique is especially useful for newly adopted dogs and puppies: “hide and seek.” I started doing it just for fun, but quickly noticed how useful it was. This exercise will teach your dog to keep an eye on you, to be aware of your location and to follow you. Believe me, dog walks are much more pleasant when you decide where to go, not your dog. What is more important, your dog will be less likely to be lost.