Who could possibly deny those puppy dog eyes? Well, you—after reading up on how to stop dog begging at the table. Get the lowdown on turning your panhandling pooch into a dinner party delight. It’s not as hard as it may seem; it just takes a lot of patience.
Tough Love to Stop Dog Begging
If your dog is a beggar, chances are that you’ve contributed to this behavior. If you’ve ever given your dog a piece of food off your own plate, why wouldn’t he expect for it to happen again?
However absentminded it might be on your part, this reinforces this pesky behavior. K9 Magazine advises that “the best thing to do is ignore the begging completely.”
Quite simply: Pay no attention to your dog when you’re at the table. Reacting will only further encourage his attempts, no matter if your tone is positive or negative.
Why Cold Turkey Works Best
Why stop so suddenly? It works. However, you may see a brief surge in bad behavior before you get the desired results. Dog trainer Beth Mullen explains that the “extinction burst,” in which your dog’s behavior will become worse in the first few instances of the cold shoulder, is common. Hey, no one said it would be easy!
If your dog knows the “down” command, then definitely employ it, but don’t expect 100% compliance at first. Another helpful route? Keep your dog in a different room altogether during meal time.
Diligence Is Key to Stop Dog Begging
The takeaway from this video? Make sure everyone in your family, as well as your pet sitter, are on the same page. Slipping your dog a bite, even once, gives the idea that he can get what he wants by begging.
Distractions or toys can be helpful when you’re trying to break your dog of the begging behavior. A Kong toy with peanut butter or treats inside is a great start, and will keep him occupied throughout the meal.
So in Conclusion…
…do nothing! To stop dog begging, don’t acknowledge the behavior, however hard it might be.
Whether it’s barking, pawing at your knee, or just looking at you with that pitiful (and admittedly adorable) gaze, your dog knows how to get your attention. Your best bet for eliminating a dog’s begging behavior is to go into complete and total ignore mode. It’ll help you both enjoy dinnertime—and plenty of playtime afterwards, too.