No one enjoys a dog begging for table scraps, especially during meal time if he barks and stares at you until you give in. If this describes your dog, you can break this cycle with consistent training and changing your bad habits.
Stop feeding your dog table scraps. If your dog is accustomed to getting a few bites of your meal, he’s going to continue looking for table food, unless you stop giving him any, under all circumstances. If you have children, ensure they never leave food lying around and instruct them to not give into your dog’s begging. When you dog begs, do not give in, despite his barking, pawing and stares.
Feed him high quality dog food and change your dog’s regular food. He may be tired of the same dog food day after day or is lacking certain nutrients with his current food. Ask your vet for a dog food recommendation that best meets your dog’s needs and slowly introduce new tastes to keep him satisfied. You may also want to give him a mix of dry kibble and wet food to keep him satisfied with his food.
Keep your dog busy during your family mealtime. Give your dog a bone, rawhide or other large chewable treat during your meal times. You may also pull out a favorite toy not accessible during other times. A busy toy or long-lasting dog treat will keep your dog preoccupied when you are at the table eating. He may also learn to associate your mealtime with the treat or toy. Give him the treat or toy outside or in an area other than your kitchen or dining room.
Train your dog to stay in a particular spot when you are cooking or eating. Praise him for staying in his stop and reward him after your meal with a treat of his own. Remain consistent and sternly order him back to the spot if he moves from it. Stay patient if he is used to roaming free during your meals, as it may take time for him to learn his place.
- The older your dog is, the longer this process may take. Be patient; at first your dog may not understand what he is doing wrong.
Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.