You Can Stop Your Dog from Table Begging!
25 April, 2016
jack russell dog sitting at table begging to eat , tablecloths included

Our dogs are social creatures and love to eat.  So, when your family gathers for dinner, well, your dog wants to join you!  But, sometimes it can be annoying when your dog is whining and pawing from under the table, especially if you have company!

There are ways to stop your dog from table begging while still having your pup be happy during your meal.

Table begging needs to stop the first time it happens

Dogs beg at the table because we let them and it only takes one time for the habit to begin. Unfortunately, attention-getting behaviors like begging don’t have to be indulged often to become a bad habit. The most effective way to get a dog to stop begging at the table is to completely ignore your dog, a task that’s often easier said than done.

Teach your dog to go to specific spot when you eat dinner

Try teaching your dog to go to a designated spot, usually a bed or a mat, and stay there.  Leave a chew bone or toy there to keep your dog occupied and distracted.  Give your dog a lot of praise for staying in his designated spot.

Below are a few more tips to stop your dog from begging:

  • Feed your dog at the same time you eat. If your dog is enjoying his own food, he usually won’t  beg for yours.
  • Give your dog something else to do. Try sticking some healthy treats stuffed in a few Kong toys so he’ll have something to play with while you eat.
  • If your dog has been crate-trained, place him in his crate to prevent him from begging at the table. But, the goal is to have your dog nearby and not begging, so this would only be on a trial basis.
  • Take your dog for a long walk just before dinner. If the dog is worn out, the intensity of the begging behavior will decrease.  Tired dogs are better behaved dogs.

Table begging doesn’t mean you have to stop giving your pups’ healthy human food

Some people worry that feeding their dogs’ human food (anything except dog food and treats made for dogs) will encourage begging at the table. But when teaching a dog new skills or treating certain behavior problems, using treats like small pieces of chicken, cheese or beef can accelerate the training process. Just avoid feeding your dog from the table so your pup learns that she never gets human food in that context.

Your dog’s table begging will get worse before it get better

Expect your dog’s begging to get worse before it gets better. If whining at a low volume doesn’t result in food, he’ll think he isn’t trying hard enough and turn it up and start howling. As unpleasant as this may be for a few days, stand firm. Eventually, your dog will realize that his efforts no longer work.

However, if you train your dog consistently, you should see positive results within several weeks. Consistency is key.  Even the smallest morsel can turn a trained dog back to a begging dog!  And make sure all family members and dinner guests understand what you’re doing so no one sneaks your dog a treat when they think you’re not looking.

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