Begging

Photo by Keith Cannataro | www.mrhoni-photography.com

 

Begging at the table is a common complaint, yet many people consistently reinforce this unwanted behavior by feeding their dogs from the table. The good news is that this is almost always a completely human-initiated problem, and therefore you also have the power to regain control of the situation.

Some people incorrectly assume that begging is nothing more than a harmless – if slightly annoying – behavior that borders on 'cute' in certain cases. But the reality is that like so many aspects of successful positive dog training, allowing minor (or major) begging behavior to continue unabated can lead to more serious issues which can be much more difficult to overcome.


How Can I Stop My Dog From Begging at the Table?

  • The best way to PREVENT begging is to never feed your dogs from the dinner table.
  • If your dog begs at the table, stand up and block him with your body. Use a vocal cue such as 'back,' while giving him a clear physical hand signal.
  • A body block is how dogs control space from other dogs, so your body language sends a clear message.
  • Once your dog is at a point far enough from the table, tell him to 'stay' and sit down at the table again.
  • If your dog attempts to move, repeat the process until he understands that he can no longer approach.
  • You might have to repeat this process a number of times before he understands what he needs to do, so be patient!
  • To make it easier on your dog, start the training when there is no food on the table and then proof the behavior by gradually introducing food, increasing its value as your dog becomes more proficient.
  • If the above techniques are not working for you, put your dog in another room, removing him from temptation and setting him up for success by not allowing him to practice begging behavior.
  • Block where your dog wants to go with your body, but do not physically move or yell at him.
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