Does your dog have a place at the dinner table whether you want him there or not? Maybe you started giving him food scraps after meals when he was a puppy — better for him to have it than to put it in the trash, right? The problem is now your dog is an expert beggar. Is it possible to keep your dog from begging, or has that ship sailed?

Stop it before it starts

Feeding your dog from the table and giving your dog people food leads to the bad and embarrassing habit of begging. Maybe you don’t mind your dog resting his head on your lap at a meal, but dinner guests might be less understanding.

If you want to keep your dog from begging, it’s best not to feed your dog while you’re sitting at the dinner table or preparing food. Begging is a difficult habit to break, and the easiest way to prevent it is by never letting it start.

Your dog won’t associate your meal time with treats and table scraps if you never let him know what he’s missing out on. Ignore your dog at mealtimes and he’s likely to ignore you, too.

This can help your dog maintain a healthy weight; it’s difficult to keep track of how many extra calories your dog gets each day when everyone in the house feeds that dog table scraps after each meal.

It also helps keep your dog safe from human foods that are bad for dogs. Everyone knows not to feed the dog chocolate, but did you know that onions can make dogs sick? Different dogs respond in different ways to people food, and it’s safest not to feed your dog from the table.

If you drop some food on the floor, or want to give your puppy the occasional treat, put the food in his food bowl. Try to be discreet. Don’t carry food from the table or counter in plain sight and place it in his dish.

Can you keep your dog from begging?

Maybe your dog already begs. Your Goldendoodle was so cute as a puppy that you couldn’t resist spoiling him, and now he’s the first one to the table at mealtime. While it’s more difficult to teach your dog not to beg at meals than to never let the habit start, it is possible.

Here are some things that you can do to get your dog to stop begging during meals.

  • Walk your dog before meals to help get rid of any extra energy.
  • Ignore your dog while you’re eating and preparing food.
  • Feed your dog in a different room while you eat.
  • Send your dog to his comfort place during meals. Obedience training can help your dog listen to commands.
  • Do not reinforce begging. Maybe you’re the one who really needs to break the habit.
  • Consistency is key — whatever you choose to do, do it every time. Don’t give in to those big puppy eyes, and sometimes feed your dog from your plate.

If you find it too difficult to break your dog’s begging habit, find a way to keep your dog away from people while they eat. Let your dog play outside during meals. If you don’t have a fenced in yard, consider putting your dog in a separate room, put up a baby gate, or put him in his kennel while you eat.

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