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How do I teach my dog not to beg for food at the table?

Asked a year ago

Our family dog has a gigantic appetite even though she gets treats and eats all her food. It is not a thyroid issue or anything our vet can pick up so we think she just tries her luck! How can we get ourselves to say no to her cuteness and get her to stop?

Erin Church

Monday, April 03, 2023

First, your family must realize that as cute as your dog is, feeding her anything from the table reinforces this undesirable behavior and can lead to health problems such as canine obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Therefore, I recommend feeding your dog her dinner in a separate room before you eat. If she is in a different room, this prevents the begging behavior, to begin with. If she comes to your table to beg after she eats, tell her to go to a comfortable place that is familiar to her, such as her bed or crate, where options should be available to keep her entertained, such as toys or puzzles. If she continues to beg, ignore her so she learns this behavior won't get attention. Don't yell at her because negative attention is still attention. Instead, reward her when she is not begging. However, I would caution against giving any reward from the table. Instead, it is better to get up and reward her.

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