Break Your Dog’s Table-Begging Habit

Your retriever mix Sammy has a voracious appetite. This four-year-old canine housemate scarfs down his meals before you can blink, and he often steals the cat’s leftovers for dessert. If that’s not enough, he pesters you during meal prep time, hoping for fallout from the kitchen counters. Although you shrug off these antics, you can’t ignore your dog’s table-begging habit. When your family sits down for meals, Sammy stations himself beside a likely victim. While the poor person tries to eat, your pitiful pooch whines and hounds them until they relent and pass him a scrap or two. Clearly, this behavior must stop. Tomorrow, your canine beggar will visit your Glendale, AZ veterinarian for expert behavioral counseling. Consider these strategies as well.

Obedience Skills Practice

Although Sammy has an obedience class under his belt, he obviously needs a refresher course. Help him recall those important skills by placing his bed in the dining room, but far enough away so he can’t easily harass the diners.

Next, give him a firm “Down-Stay!” command. Every time you notice him inching toward a victim, repeat that instruction. Your dog will probably get tired of hearing your voice, and should retreat to his bed to mull a backup plan.

Discourage Begging Behavior

If your first strategy doesn’t produce results, consider an alternative. Sammy has kept begging because that behavior has worked well. In fact, he’s been extremely successful, packing on several pounds from gobbling down human food along with his kibbles.

To immediately break that cycle, ask your family and guests to completely ignore your persistent pooch during meals. That will likely make him redouble his efforts to get noticed. However, the diners must withstand the pressure as they help you to change your dog’s behavior.

Stop the Dining Room Access

If your fiercely determined dog won’t give up, banish him from the dining room entirely. Place his crate in a different room; and stock it with his favorite blanket and toys. Or, allow him to roam freely in another enclosed room. If his diet includes treats, give him some tasty snacks to distract him from the forbidden dining room activities.

When Sammy next visits your Glendale, AZ veterinarian, he should be a better-behaved pooch who minds his manners during meals. If your dog won’t stop his table begging, contact us for expert advice.

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