You’ve finally managed to get the whole family to the table for a meal--you’ve found an hour where you can sit and bicker amongst yourselves while you eat. Adding to the chaos that comes with a family meal, is your dog that subtly makes its way round each family member begging for food. He is probably smart too, he has his targets, he knows who’s most likely to give up the odd mouthful or two. His first port of call is probably going to be your fussiest child, they’re a sure thing.
While having your dog begging can often be humorous and cute, it also gets rather annoying. You have already fed him and you don’t want him piling on the extra pounds because he gets two dinners every evening. Training him not to beg will afford you a peaceful and relaxing meal, where everyone eats their food, vegetables and all!
Training your dog not to beg will involve a number of different behaviors. You need to be prepared to ignore him, no matter how adorable he looks. Ironically, you will need to be ready to incentivize him with food (just not at the table). It will also involve using verbal commands to send him away from the table.
This is all important so you can have a relaxing, humans-only meal at the table. It will also ensure all of your family eat their greens, there’ll be nowhere to hide them now!
The command itself is relatively easy to train, but it will be easier and quicker to train into puppies, as opposed to older dogs, who are already set in their ways. With a receptive dog, you could have the begging behavior trained out of him in just several days, more stubborn dogs may need a couple of weeks to get the hang of it.
Before you get going with your training you’re going to need a few things. First, you’re going to need treats or his favorite food, to incentivize him to stay in his bed and wait for you to finish eating. Perhaps more tricky though, you’re going to need a pep talk with the family to tell them strictly no more feeding, from now on they need to ignore him at all times during meals
Apart from that, just come armed with a ‘can do’ attitude and a good degree of patience. Now you’re all ready, it’s time to get to work!