Let's face it: our dogs beg. Whether they ate five minutes ago or five hours ago, if you let them, they will beg. Giving in not only makes things worse, it can quickly become an addictive habit. Here are some tips for how to stop your dog from begging:
Puppy dog eyes should not win a prize. It's simple, and yet so hard: don't reward an inappropriate behavior. Consistency is key. If your dog continues to receive tabletop treats, your dog will continue to beg. Make a pact with members of your household and kindly remind guests: ignore the tableside beggar.
Don't invite your dog to dinner. For dog lovers, ignoring a pleading dog can be an unpleasant—and even painful—task. Plus, a nosy dog can easily disrupt your meal. For these reasons, consider giving your dog his own seat—away from the table.
Try putting a comfy dog bed in the corner of your dining room. Place your dog's favorite toys and chews in the bed, and praise him when he sits or lies down on the bed. Instruct your dog to "stay" and reward him with a doggie treat that's not from the table.
Or, if your dog is crate-trained, consider directing him to his crate for the dinner hour.
Offer dinner entertainment... for your dog. If it's impossible to keep your dog away from the table, try giving him something else to do. Before you sit down to eat, present your dog with a chew or food puzzle. It may keep him busy—and distracted from begging. If this happens, be sure to give your dog a lot of praise. Make sure the chew or toy is the right size and keep an eye on him. Best of all, this kind of entertainment gives your dog a positive and appropriate alternative to begging.
Give your dog the early-bird special. Feed your dog before you sit down to dinner. If your dog has a full stomach, he may be less inclined to grovel for table scraps. Always provide your dog with high-quality nutrition that meets his needs. Your veterinarian or nutrition certified pet store associate can recommend the best nutrition for your dog's lifestyle, age and size.
Remember, there are certain table scraps your dog should never eat—such as chocolate, onions, grapes or raisins.
Resist his charms. If you've become accustomed to sharing meals with your dog, these anti-begging tips may be difficult to follow. After all, puppy dog eyes can be ruthless. Stay strong and stay consistent. Reward good behavior and ignore or redirect the inappropriate behavior.
Need more training tips? Check out Petco's dog training classes >