How to Train Your Dog to Not Beg

Easy
1-8 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Having a dog brings with it a world of joy. You have someone to cuddle with while you watch your favorite show and you finally have a member of the family who can’t argue back. But while having a dog is relaxing, for the most part, it isn’t so relaxing when they constantly pester and beg you for food whenever you sit down to tuck into a tasty meal. You just want some peace and quiet to enjoy every mouthful of that delicious snack, without the feeling of guilt you get when you look down at your endearing dog.

It’s all fun and games to start with, but you gave in too much at the beginning and now you can’t eat anything without sharing it with your canine friend. But enough is enough, you don’t want to share anymore and you don’t want guests being pestered for food by your dog either.

Defining Tasks

Fortunately, training your dog not to beg is relatively straightforward. It will involve obedience training so you can send your dog out of the room when you’re eating. It will also involve patience and some willpower not to give in to your doggie pal, no matter how cute they look. That means you will have to toe the party line with the rest of the family; it needs to be a group effort.

With a puppy, successful training can take just a couple of weeks, but with older dogs who have been begging for years, a few extra weeks may be needed to fully break the habit. But don’t be put off by the time it takes, it is more than worth it to have a well-behaved dog, who leaves you to relax with your food and doesn’t pester you or guests when you’re feasting.

Getting Started

Before you get to work with your dog, you will need a number of things. Get hold of some doggie treats or break their favorite food into small chunks. You will also need a quiet room, free from distractions.

Then get a leash and, perhaps most importantly of all, find all your resilience, a begging dog could charm the pants off even the iciest of souls.
Once you have all those things, set aside 10 minutes a day for the next few weeks and you’re ready to tackle your begging dog once and for all.

The Cold Shoulder Method

Most Recommended
3 Votes
Cold Shoulder method for Not Beg
Step
1
Call a family meeting
You need to inform the whole household that no one under any circumstances is to feed the dog anymore, unless it is in their bowl. No matter where you are eating, you do not give any food to your dog when it begs, no matter how cute it looks or how loud it whines.
Step
2
Do not make eye contact
If you are sitting on the sofa snacking and your dog comes to beg, ignore him. That also means don’t look at him. Just by giving it eye contact you are telling it that sitting there will get your attention. If he starts to whine loudly and doesn’t give up, take him out of the room and shut the door.
Step
3
Keep your dog around when you're eating at the table
As soon as he starts begging, put him in his crate or use a leash to secure them to something near their bed until you have finished eating. Showing them they will be excluded if they beg will reinforce that begging is the wrong behavior.
Step
4
Do not talk or interact with your dog at all while you are eating
Whether you are at the table, on the sofa, or seated outside, do not engage in any way with your dog. Any physical or verbal interaction fuels their mental state. Only the coldest of shoulders will reinforce that this is the wrong sort of behavior.
Step
5
Be patient
Dogs are creatures of habit and they won’t transform overnight. Instead, you need to practice the cold shoulder all day, every day and sometimes for many weeks. Just be persistent and don’t feel guilty, eventually they will learn begging gets them nowhere and because they yearn for your attention, they will stop doing it.
Recommend training method?

The Go to Bed Method

Effective
2 Votes
Go to Bed method for Not Beg
Step
1
Get some treats and take your dog into the room where their bed is
You are going to teach your dog a command that will send them to their bed or place. That way whenever your dog begs, you can quickly send them away and enjoy your food in peace.
Step
2
Stand close to their bed and say ‘BED’
As you say this, lure them onto their bed entirely, until all 4 feet are on their bed or mat.
Step
3
Reward your dog as soon as they fully enter their bed
The trick is to reward them within 3 seconds. Any longer and they won’t associate the command with the reward.
Step
4
Slowly increase the distance and time
After several successful attempts, slowly increase the distance you are from their bed when you instruct them to go there. Lure them with a treat each time if you need to and be sure to reward them every time. Practice this for 10 minutes a day until you can send them to their bed even when you are in a different room. Also, slowly increase the time they lay on their bed before you give them the treat. Keep upping the time until you can leave them there for 10-15 minutes before they get up.
Step
5
Sit down on the sofa or at the table with food and repeat
When they start to beg, exactly as you did before, instruct them to go to their bed and lure them with a treat if need be. Keep practicing this each time you eat and they beg. When they have the hang of it, slowly reduce the frequency you give them treats until they are no longer needed at all. The key to this technique is consistency. If you send them away every time and master the ‘bed’ command, you will always be able to rid yourself of your begging dog whenever you desire.
Recommend training method?

The Time Out Method

Least Recommended
1 Vote
Time Out method for Not Beg
Step
1
Get into a room that has no food or toys
This is going to be the ‘time out’ room that your dog goes in when they beg for food. The idea will be that the room is so boring they won’t want to risk begging in case they get sent there.
Step
2
Eat as you normally would
Keep a close eye out for your dog, you need to be ready to act swiftly when they beg.
Step
3
Send your dog away, or place them in the time out room
Try and send your dog to the room. If this doesn't work, place them in the time out room. After several minutes, let your dog back out of the room and continue with your meal.
Step
4
Repeat as necessary
If your dog comes back to you and begs again, place him back in the time out room. Again, leave them there for a few minutes and bring them back out. Even if they whine and bark, it is important you totally ignore them.
Step
5
Be consistent and get everyone on board
The key to success is sticking to this method for as many days or weeks that it takes. You may have many long meals and they may frequently go cold, but it will be worth it in the end when your dog breaks the begging habit. It is also essential you get the rest of the household on board. If one member of the family doesn’t stick to the time out rule, the dog will be confused and success will take much longer. So be patient, consistent and work as a team because eventually the time out room will be enough of a deterrent that your dog gives up begging for good.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Lucky
Labrador Retriever
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lucky
Labrador Retriever
8 Months

We keep our dog outside the kitchen by closing the kitchen doors, but he either scratches or lays down next to the door until it opens. When we open the door, we have to slam the door before he darts into the kitchen and jumps on the counter, rips up the antifatigue mat (torn up long ago and is still being eaten, not torn).

My mom keeps telling him to sit while she cooks, and especially when we eat.

And my dad has a habit of yelling at my dog when he barks. The main problem is, how do I get MY DAD to stop yelling at him, and then get my dog to stop?

And while he plays, I noticed that he recently started jumping and biting more often than before, especially when we arrive home from work or somewhere else.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
126 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kien, First, put a bed like a Primopad from primopad.com or a cot type bed that is more durable, outside the kitchen, in a spot that is out of the way, where he can see what people are doing when the kitchen door is open, without being in the kitchen or in front of the kitchen door. Start by putting pieces of his own dog food on that bed. When he finds the food and eats it, then replace the treats when he is not looking. The idea is for the bed to become a very pleasant place that he wants to be. Whenever you catch him laying on the bed, go over to him and drop treat in front of him onto the bed. You want him to start wanting to be on the bed even when he is not told to. Next, teach him a "Place" command. Attach a leash to him, and hurry him over to the bed. Lead him onto the bed using his momentum from hurrying over that way. Right before he gets on the bed tell him "Place". As soon as all four of his paws hit the bed, praise him enthusiastically and drop treats onto the bed. He does not have to lay down or sit, simply have all four paws on it. If he chooses to lay down or sit, give him extra treats though to encourage him to stay there. Once he is on the bed, if he tries to get off block his way until he stops trying to leave or lead him right back onto the bed with the leash if he manages to slip by you. Every two minutes that he remains on the bed, give him another treat. Tell him "Okay" when you are ready for him to get off the bed after a few minutes, and encourage him to get off but do not give him a treat for getting off. Now, practice sending him to his "Place", rewarding him when he steps onto it and stays on it for a couple of minutes, and giving him permission to get off again. As he improves, practice sending him to him to his bed from a bit further away. Only add about a foot at a time though. Also, as he improves space the treats further apart, so that he is only getting a treat for staying on the bed for five minutes, then ten minutes, then fifteen, and so forth. Also, practice having him stay on his bed while you do things to distract him. Start with small distractions like walking a few feet away. As he improves, add harder distractions like jumping up and down, making noise, and dropping food in the kitchen. Whenever he tries to get off the bed quickly run toward him, blocking his way, and lead him back onto the bed. Tell him "Ah Ah" when he start to get off. Once he knows how to stay on his "Place", then when you are in the kitchen or he is trying to sneak in, open the door, send him to his "Place", and give him food stuffed chew toys on the bed to keep him from getting into mischief. For the counter jumping, you can set up a booby trap on the kitchen counter to teach him not to jump. Tie some thin but strong string through some metal pots and metal pot lids. Stack them precariously on each other on a metal sheet pan or something else that's flat and metal. Tie one string connecting all of them to something secure on the counter and tie another string from them to a piece of tempting food, like a chicken breast in an open zip-lock bag or a bagel with some peanut butter between the two pieces to add smell. Set the piece of food on the edge of the counter with the pots behind it. Let Lucky see you put it there, and then leave with the door to the kitchen open. Go into a nearby room and listen for him to trigger the trap. Be ready to rush in there to catch him when you hear the pots. What should happen when he grabs the food is that he will pull on the string attached to the pots to make them crash together and startle him. This should cause him to flee the room and drop the food that is attached to the noise makers. When he does this you want to catch him and pick up the food before be gains enough courage to come back to eat the food again now that things are quiet. The string that anchors the pots to something secure should be loose enough to let them all fall onto the counter but it should still keep them from falling all the way to the floor and potentially hitting Lucky. Set up this trap regularly until Lucky stops jumping on the counters. Also be sure to keep the counters cleaned off whenever you are not present and cooking, to prevent his theft and send him to his "Place". Once he learns that the counters are not fun you don't want food to tempt him to try jumping again without a booby trap set to enforce your training. To get your dog to stop yelling, your best option is to teach Lucky to stay on his place, so that your dad sees that Lucky can be obedient when told what to do, then your dad can send Lucky to his Place too when he is feeling frustrated and wants him out of the kitchen. Also, if you struggle to consistently enforce the Place command, then you can bolt an eye-hook into the baseboard by Lucky's Place and purchase a chew proof leash like VirChewLy. When you cannot enforce the Place command while Lucky is still learning it at times, then you can attach him to the eye-hook with the chew-proof leash and give him chew toys on his Place to focus on, to keep him out of the way. Ultimately, teaching him a firm "Place" command will be the most helpful in the long run but the eye-hook can maintain sanity when you do not have time to work on the training in the meantime. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Merlo
English Springer Spaniel
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Merlo
English Springer Spaniel
3 Months

Our puppy is 3 months old and she only will sleep with us in our bed. She used to sleep in her bed ( which was right next to ours) but off late she insists on sleeping with us. No matter how many times we make her get off the bed she jumps back right in.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
126 Dog owners recommended

Hello, At this age you need to confine Merlo in a crate or exercise pen at night for at least the next six months, until she forms a habit of sleeping there. You will not be able to be consistent about keeping her off of the bed at night unless you stay up all night, and she knows this. Therefore, you need to confine her until she accepts that that is where she sleeps at night. If you wish for her to sleep in your room, then confine her in there and expect her to protest for the first week. Stay strong, that's a big indication that she needs to learn a bit of independence and boundaries. You can also confine her in another room. It might seem cruel when she protests being alone, but it can actually prepare her for handling being alone later on, which can help to prevent Separation Anxiety. Something that English Spring Spaniels can struggle with. If you have never crate trained her before and wish to use the crate, then check out this article on how to introduce it: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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