It’s harder to break a habit than it is to just not start one in the first place. If you have a puppy or have adopted a dog that doesn’t beg, DON’T start feeding him from the table or while preparing food. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to dismiss a sad, hungry doggy face. That’s why most dog owners will eventually need to learn how to train a dog to stop begging.
If you’re interested in this article, you’re obviously dealing with this issue already. Whether you created it yourself or you’re trying to fix an issue that someone else created, it’s going to take patience and consistency to keep Fido from drooling over your dinner.
Some owners think it’s adorable to see those sad puppy dog eyes, and they love sharing meals and snacks with their pets. While this might bring you joy, it’s bringing your dog extra calories that his body doesn’t need. It’s also filling his belly with sometimes unhealthy ingredients, and may result in a dog that’s overweight.
The absolute best thing that you can do for your dog’s health is to feed him a high-quality diet designed specifically for canines, and supplement it with healthy dog treats. Some of those treats can indeed be “human foods,” but they shouldn’t be fed from the table or while you’re preparing your own meal.
Today, I want to share 6 easy steps with you that worked for me and my dogs, and that will assist you in learning how to train a dog to stop begging. Let’s get started!
SIMILAR: How To Stop Begging Behavior
How To Train A Dog To Stop Begging
(in 6 simple steps)
1. Make it a united front
Everyone that eats in your home needs to be a united front when it comes to learning how to train a dog to stop begging. If you’re trying to get this behavior to stop while your children are still feeding the dog from the table, you won’t get anywhere.
This goes for any guests who come to eat in your home as well.
Let everyone who comes in contact with your dogs know that they are not allowed to feed your dog ANYTHING without permission from you. I know it sounds a bit extreme, but this is the only way you’re going to teach your dog that begging will not earn him a snack.
2. No food from the table or kitchen
Yes, that means when you’re preparing the meal or just wiping down counters. You don’t want your dog to associate getting a treat with you being in the kitchen. Once he makes that association, he’ll pester you anytime you’re trying to do anything in that room.
The same goes for the table. Even if you only feed your dog from the table once each month, he’ll continue to beg every day in hopes that today will be the day he gets a treat.
If you want to succeed when learning how to train a dog to stop begging, you need to commit to this 100%. No food from the table or kitchen, EVER!
RELATED: 25 Most Common Dog Behavior Problems
3. Ignore your dog’s begging
Any attention, even negative attention, may motivate your dog to continue begging.
Of course he wants the food on your plate, but he also enjoys it when you touch him and speak to him. Even if you’re just pushing him away and saying “No,” he’s going to enjoy the attention that he’s getting.
Ignore the begging behavior. If it begins to get worse (whining, drooling, trying to jump on the table) or if your pooch doesn’t stop within a minute or two, it’s time to get up from the table. That brings us to the next step…
4. Pick a spot and stay there!
If your dog’s begging behavior continues, you’re going to have to get up from your meal to correct him. I know it’s inconvenient and, quite frankly, a pain in the butt. It’s the only way to show your dog that you mean business, though.
Choose a location where Fido will be safe and comfortable while your family eats. Maybe a dog bed or favorite spot that he likes to snuggle up. Get up from the table, bring your dog to the chosen location and command him to ‘sit.’ Yes, he’s going to need some command training before you can learn how to train a dog to stop begging effectively.
As I mentioned in my video guide above, if your dog will not listen to your commands, you may need to use a pet gate. Some dogs are extremely food motivated. While they may listen well to commands while outdoors, when they’re staring at the spread on the dinner table it may be a whole different story.
If you need more tips on how to train your dog these basic commands that form the foundation of dog’s training, take a look at my guide and the video below.
THE GUIDE: How To Train A Dog Basic Commands
5 & 6. Be patient and consistent
These two go hand-in-hand. Learning how to train a dog to stop begging isn’t going to happen over night. You need to remember that it may only take a few minutes to create a bad behavioral habit in your dog, but it could take weeks to break it.
The longer your dog has been allowed to beg, the longer it will take to break the habit.
If you’re not consistent with your dog training routines, it will take even longer.
As I mentioned, even if you only feed him from the table once per month, he’ll still be waiting there every day in hopes of a snack because it happened before. The only way to teach your dog that begging will not be rewarded is to NEVER reward the behavior.
That means you can’t give in to the big, sad eyes or the pathetic whines. A begging dog is rarely a hungry dog. You need to stick to your guns if you want to make this work.
With that said, I’m not telling you that you can never feed your dog human food treats.
In fact, there are many types of people food that are great for dogs (e.g. apples, bananas, cucumbers, blueberries, raspberries). You just have to make sure that you feed him these healthy human treats in a way that cannot be associated with your own meals or snacks.
It’s best to treat your dog somewhere besides the kitchen or the dining room. Also, it’s important that you don’t treat him directly before or after you eat. Don’t feed him while you’re preparing a meal either. You don’t want to give him any reason to associate his treats with your food.