Many a dog loves begging at the kitchen table, hoping for a tiny morsel of the night’s dinner. If your dog’s behavior is getting out of hand, use these tips from a Ceres veterinarian to prevent table begging.
For some dogs, ignoring their behavior is all it will take to get them to stop begging. It’s easier said than done, but remain persistent—don’t reward your dog’s actions with any kind of attention. Eventually, your dog will get the hint that begging and whining doesn’t warrant a reward. Make sure all family members are aware of the no-attention protocol, as even one harmless scrap under the table can ruin the process.
It may be easiest to move your dog to another location, restricting any access to the table. Consider putting your dog in her crate, in another room, or tethering her to a solid object with her leash. Be sure to provide a toy to keep her occupied until after dinner.
Your dog may be begging at the table because she really is hungry—this can sometimes be solved by offering your dog her own meal. Schedule your dog’s feeding times to line up with your own family dinner. If your dog is eating and occupied at the same time you are, there’s a good chance she’ll have no reason to table-beg.
Having a dog that’s trained to automatically go to a spot on command is useful for a variety of reasons, one of which is avoiding table begging. Try training your dog to go to her bed, or a spot in the corner, as soon as she starts whining at the table. Ask your Ceres veterinarian how to get started with spot training.
Punishment is never the way to solve a dog’s behavior problem! Don’t yell at your dog or physically punish her in any way. For one, it won’t work and may only make your dog afraid of you. In addition, some dogs will take punishment as an acceptable form of attention, so your actions are only backfiring anyway. Call your veterinarian’s office to ask about other possible ways to get your dog’s behavior under control.