Dogs are the best manipulators. They have a knack of getting what they want witha simple head tilt; an enviable trait, indeed. However, giving into those puppy eyestime and again can also create behavior problems and encourage unwantedbehaviors; one of them being begging at the dining table. Let’s chat about someways you can tackle it.

1.Don’t encourage it in ANY way
If you find it way to hard to resist your dog’s puppy eyes and end up obligingwith scraps off the table or slip them some food under the table every now andthen, you have invariably rewarded the begging behavior. If the outcome of acertain behavior is positive, your dog is more likely to repeat it.In this case, the outcome of begging is being rewarded with food and attention.That is a good enough reason for your dog to make begging at the table a habit.

2.Feed your dog beforehand
If your meal is aromatic and works up your appetite, chances are it has the sameeffect on your dog too. Feed your dog before you eat. No, this doesn’t make himthe alpha! Establishing leadership between the human and canine has nothing todo with who eats first.If your dog is hungry and is begging because of that, it is absolutely fine to feedyour dog before you eat.

3.Use the crate
Crating your dog when you’re eating is a good way to keep them from begging.The most important way to deal with an undesirable behavior is to make sureyour dog does not find themselves in situations where they get a chance toperform the behavior. A crate does just that!

4.Provide alternate activities
Another reason why your dog could be begging at the table is that they’re justbored and have nothing better to do. Engage your dog in a mentally stimulatingactivity such as chewing on a Bully stick or solving a puzzle or chewing on frozenmeals in a Kong toy while you eat.This is also a good way to set your dog up for success while making sure thatyou don’t have to constantly tend to your dog while you’re enjoying your meal.

5.Teach alternate behavior
“Ignore the dog” is one the most common pieces of advice given by dog ownersand even experienced professionals in order to deal with undesirable behaviorslike begging, barking etc. The tactic of ignoring a dog may partially work,however, there is very little learning taking place with this technique.Ignoring or saying “No begging” is not a behavior. It is just a correction word.While your dog may temporarily stop begging, they are not learning the rightway to behave when the humans are at the dinner table.Teach your dog what you want them to do when you are eating. Desirablebehaviors that must be taught include ‘place’ cue, ‘down’ cue, ‘relax’ cue and‘leave it.’ This is an effective way to train a dog as you will be ignoring theundesirable behavior while rewarding the desirable one at the same time.Scientifically, dogs respond to positive reinforcement better than any othertechnique.

6.Reward later
While rewarding the right behavior is imperative, it must be done once yourmeal is finished and you’re off the dinner table. Repeatedly rewarding the dog inbetween your meal may make the training redundant at some level.Reward your dog with a big chunk of treat once your meal is done. Consider thisas a reward for continued good behavior.

7.Block access
As mentioned above, setting your dog up for success is the most importantaspect of dealing with an undesirable behavior. Blocking access to the diningtable is a sure shot way to ensure your dog doesn’t get a chance to beg. This isan essential step, especially for dogs who tend to be boisterous and physicallydisrupt humans while they eat.