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How To Teach a Dog Not To Beg: 7 Methods To Try

May 23, 2022

Few dog behaviors can go from adorable to annoying as quickly as begging. If you are wondering why a dog would beg at the table, it is generally in order to get more food. They might even do this when they are no longer hungry.

If you have a dog who will continue to eat without any care for their hunger levels, this probably will not be a foreign idea to you. However, if your pet is usually more reserved with their eating habits, this can be a confusing idea.

Dogs might beg because your food smells good and they want a taste. Otherwise, your pet might want to feel more included in your family meal. Then, your dog might be begging for an incredibly simple reason: it usually works. If they beg and you regularly give in, then it makes sense that they would continue begging in the future. We will get into that more later in the article, but it is always worthwhile to keep in mind.

1. Crate Train Your Dog

At first, crate training your dog might not seem like it would have much to do with making them no longer beg, but that is not the case. In reality, crate training your dog has many more benefits than just those that you might immediately think of. Once you have crate trained your dog, they likely can recognize a certain command that tells them to go to that space.

Not only will the successful implementation of this direction result in your dog physically being somewhere else, but there are more advantages. Your pet will also be distracted with the task of listening and obeying, so their thoughts will no longer be occupied solely by obtaining table scraps. Other than our dogs, distraction is often our best friend when it comes to making unwanted behaviors a thing of the past.

If you have not yet crate trained your dog or taught them a specific command that will get them to enter the space, it is never too late to start. Whether you want your dog to stop begging, or if you simply need some alone time, having their crate available as an option is immensely helpful.

2. Stop Giving Your Dog Table Scraps

Listen, we understand that your dog is adorable. We also understand that it can be hard to resist those puppy dog eyes and the pathetically cute whining noise they make when they want your food. As hard as it may be, it is absolutely imperative that you resist the strong urge to give in and offer them what they want. Giving your pet scraps from the table will simply show your dog that this method works, so they will continue doing it.

Many pet parents think that only giving in and feeding them from the table once or twice will not hurt the training efforts, but that is not true. Any encouragement of this behavior will only work against you in the long run. So while it might be difficult to resist that wagging tail, know that you are actually helping both of you in the process.

3. Ignore Their Begging Completely

This is definitely one step beyond just not giving your dog food from the table when they beg, but it is crucial. If you truly want to stop this behavior entirely, you are going to need to not give them any reaction when they beg. At first, this can be difficult. They may begin to whine louder or become more insistent in other ways. Regardless, you need to remain steadfast in your conviction not to give in.

As far as you are concerned, there is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary happening. Even as your dog is whining at the top of their lungs, you are simply enjoying a nice dinner in total silence. Do not so much as look at your dog, let alone talk to them. Any reaction will be perceived as encouragement by your pet, so you can’t give them one.

This strategy might take a little while to fully work, but your dog will eventually realize that begging is not getting them the result they want. Once they reach that conclusion, there is no reason for them to continue begging. This is why you really have to avoid giving them any kind of reaction. Any sign of hope might be enough to spur them on, and they could continue begging for longer as a result.

If you do not think that this method alone is enough to get your dog to kick the habit, you can also include other suggestions into the routine.

4. Give Them a Distracting Toy

Remember when we mentioned that distraction is the ultimate tool in a pet parent’s arsenal? Well, it is high time to revisit that thought. Distracting your dog is one of the best ways to give them an enriching experience while also deterring them from performing negative behavior.

If you choose to go this route in order to prevent your dog from begging, you are likely to see results quite quickly. However, these results might end up being somewhat short-lived. Toys are certainly fun, but they will only keep your pet busy for a limited amount of time. There are a couple of different measures you can take to combat this.

First, you can understand that this method, while effective, is best used on occasions where you only need a short period of time. For longer meals or snack breaks, that might not be your best bet. Secondly, you could give your dog a toy that requires more focus, keeping them engaged for a much longer period of time.

Try toys that include puzzles, and feel free to incorporate treats to really up their motivation. Dogs need mental stimulation, so giving them a toy like this will not only buy you time but also make for a happier pet.

If neither of those methods works for you, you can also include our other suggestions. Training a pet is not always a clear or linear journey. As a result, it might take a variety of methods in order to get this new behavior to really stick.

5. Send Your Dog Away While You Are Eating

This suggestion has some definite similarities to sending your dog to their crate, but there are some key differences as well. When you are sending your dog to their crate, it is simultaneously a way of moving them as well as a means of keeping them occupied.

This method is more about showing that there are some negative consequences to begging. However, it accomplishes this goal without punishing your dog in a way that will create confusion and anxiety (more on that in our next suggestion).

Once your dog starts begging, you can bring them into a separate room. In this case, though, it is integral that this is not a particularly fun room. There should be nothing wrong with it, but there are no toys or fun frills for them to enjoy. Eventually, they are likely to become bored. No dog wants to be bored, so after you repeat this a few times, your pet should begin to get the message.

Take your dog out of the room shortly after putting them in. Otherwise, they could develop separation anxiety.

6. Never Punish Your Dog

While constant begging can get tiresome, you should absolutely never punish your dog. Even if you are doing so with only the best of intentions, this will only create fear and misunderstanding. That is especially true if you were to attempt punishing your dog some amount of time after they have done the negative behavior. Dogs do not have the ability to look back and understand what it is that they are being punished for. As a result, they will just become confused and scared.

A scared dog is not a dog who is ready to be trained, and they will be more prone to slip-ups and accidents since they do not know what you want. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement whenever possible. That brings us to our next suggestion.

7. Praise Your Pet for Positive Behavior

At this point, it is understandable if you are a bit confused. After all, if you can’t punish your dog, then how are you supposed to show them correct behavior? Luckily, there is a much more pleasant way to go about teaching that will benefit both of you. Not every interaction with your dog will be sunshine and roses, but you can help make more of them pleasant by praising them for their positive behavior.

This makes the message you are trying to convey much clearer to your pet. At the same time, this also creates a bonding opportunity for both of you, strengthening your relationship over time. Praising your dog will also create a sense of accomplishment for them, and they are much more likely to want to chase that feeling. Well, that, and to get more treats from you.

Begging Is Off the Table

Overall, it’s best to avoid giving your pup scraps of your meal. In addition to begging being a bothersome activity, there are multiple human foods that are toxic to dogs. By following the steps we laid out in this article, you can make real strides in getting them to stop begging for good.


A Mentally Stimulated Dog Is a Happy Dog | American Kennel Club

Why Punishment Should Be Avoided | VCA Animal Hospitals

People Foods To Avoid Feeding Your Pets | ASPCA

The Diggs Team

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