Believe it or not, begging is something that we as humans have created in our dogs, so it’s one of the easiest habits to break.
You see, begging behavior is only brought about by being fed in a location that is undesirable to you, such as the kitchen table. It started with you (or someone in your household), so you too can stop it.
While begging seems relatively harmless, and while the single behavior, albeit annoying at times, is relatively harmless, allowing it to continue can snowball into other behavioral issues.
Fortunately, you have complete power to regain control over the situation. All it is going to take is some willpower. You see, your dog received food from someone at some point in time from that location, so it behooves them to continue seeking food from that person and/or location.
This will persist as long as you (or someone in your home) continue the behavior of providing the food.
Here is a simple step-by-step process to train your dog to stop begging:
- The best way to PREVENT begging is to never feed your dogs from the kitchen table.
- If your dog begs at the table, stand up and block him with your body. Use a vocal cue such as ‘back,’ while giving him a clear physical hand signal.
- A body block is how dogs control space from other dogs, so your body language sends a clear message. Body blocking does not mean physically moving them or yelling at them, simply being present and “in the way” so that your dog can not get to the table.
- Once your dog is at a point far enough from the table, tell him to ‘stay’ and sit down at the table again.
- If your dog attempts to move, repeat the process until he understands that he can no longer approach.
- You might have to repeat this process a number of times before he understands what he needs to do, so be patient!
- To make it easier on your dog, start the training when there is no food on the table and then gradually introduce food, increasing its value as your dog begins to understand and can maintain their stay.
- If necessary, put your dog in another room, removing him from temptation and setting him up for success by not allowing him to practice begging behavior.
Give this a try and let me know how it goes!
For more beginner dog training in video format, sign up for the FREE Beginner Dog Training Series!