How to Teach a Dog Not to Beg at the Table

by Sarah Dray
Don't indulge begging behavior or it will only get worse.

Don't indulge begging behavior or it will only get worse.

John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images

There they are again -- those sad eyes looking at you while you're trying to eat your dinner. How can you resist them? Resist them you must, or you'll end up with a dog that begs nonstop every time human food is around.

Step 1

Say "no" the first time he begs. Once Rufus understands that begging gets him food, things will get a bit more difficult. Did you already break down and give him food once or more? It's going to take a bit more time to convince him you won't do it again. Consistency is essential. Don't expect to give sometimes and decide it's not appropriate at other times. It's confusing and probably really annoying for the dog, who must be wondering what's going on in your head.

Step 2

Ignore the barking, whining and other begging sounds coming out of Fido. Ignoring them means not even acknowledging they're there. Don't look at your dog, don't ask him to be quiet. This doesn't work with all dogs -- some might respond better at the "no/stop it" method -- but it might be ideal for dogs that aren't too persistent.

Step 3

Feed Fido his dinner before you eat yours. You can't expect a hungry dog to wait around for half an hour or more while you eat all the yummy food. Your dog might beg anyway, even if he's not hungry, but the emptier his tummy is the more persistent his begging will be.

Step 4

Create a diversion. Your dinner time could become the time he gets a chew stick or a Kong toy with some treats inside. It's still food, and it should be interesting enough to keep him away from your plate.

Tip

  • Dogs are great at making you feel guilty. But don't indulge them. Those begging eyes and "I'm starving" looks? All lies, of course. You do feed your dog, don't you? If you want to give him a treat aside from his regular food, do it at a different time. Sit down with him, give him a kiss and share a treat. Or have him do something -- sit, lie down -- and then give him a treat. But always do it away from the dinner table.

Photo Credits

  • John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images

About the Author

Sarah Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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