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How To Stop a Dog From Begging: A Guide

How To Stop a Dog From Begging: A Guide

Have you found yourself standing at your counter trying to enjoy a meal because your dog won’t stop begging for food when you are seated? Do you avoid having guests come over for meals because you don’t want your dog to harass them for a morsel?

Pet parents everywhere can relate; it is hard to resist those puppy eyes staring you down, maybe as they throw in a dramatic whine. We know you love your dog, but the begging can be annoying. It can also cause health issues for your furry best bud.

Dogs who beg successfully end up consuming too much human food, which can be harmful to their health. Obesity, digestive problems, and other health issues can arise from the consumption of healthy foods. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to teach your dog to stop beginning.

Let’s explore some of those tips so you can put an end to this behavior and enjoy your meals in peace.

Establish Clear Rules and Boundaries

You want your buddy to be by your side everywhere you go; we get it. However, your dog thrives on structure and routine. One of the first steps you can take to knock out the begging is to not allow your dog at the table at mealtimes.

Make sure everyone in the household is on the same page when it comes to this rule. Being on a united front will help make the process easier. It’s also important that everyone agrees to the next tip: ignoring the begging.

Ignore the Begging

Sometimes this can be easier said than done, but one of the most effective ways to stop a dog from begging is to ignore it completely. Dogs are very persistent, but when your dog figures out that this behavior isn’t getting them what they will want, they will give up. This is not going to be an overnight fix, though. It will take time, but eventually, your dog will see that this behavior is fruitless.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Full

While we know that most dogs are food motivated, your dog may simply be hungry when they are begging for your food. Make sure that you’re feeding your dog enough and that it is high-quality food. Nutrient-dense food is going to keep your dog satiated for a longer period of time, which means that they may be less likely to beg.

If you are ever unsure of how much food your dog should be consuming daily, you can easily get an immediate answer from one of our veterinary experts in the AskVet app.

Alternative Activities

Before you sit down to enjoy a meal, give your dog something to do that will keep their attention away from the table. Give them toys, puzzles filled with treats, or games that will keep them busy. This will prevent your dog from begging and provide time for mental stimulation.

You can also feed your dogs at the same time you enjoy your own meal. Vary things up by adding savory broth or tasty vegetables to your dog’s bowl. Your dog will be excited to see what new thing has been added to their bowl and will take their focus away from your plate.

Consider a Crate

If your dog finds resisting the urge to beg difficult, consider using a crate during mealtimes. Before sitting down, place your dog in their crate with their favorite treat or toy. This is especially helpful if you already crate train, as your dog likely finds their crate as a positive space where they can retreat and rest. This is a win-win as your dog will get some quality time with their favorite treat, and you’ll have a peaceful meal.

You may find that after some time, your dog will associate mealtimes with the time they get a treat in their crate and may even start to exhibit the desired behavior on their own.

Command Training

Command training is another effective way to stop begging. “Sit” and “stay” are useful commands to use when you want your dog to stay away from the table.

Positive Reinforcement and Patience 

Speaking of treats, a friendly reminder that positive reinforcement training is a powerful tool. Rewarding your furry pal with praise, treats, and affection will reinforce behaviors and encourage your dog to continue with their polite behavior.

Your dog’s begging didn’t get so awful overnight, and they won’t completely stop beginning overnight. It takes time and plenty of patience to change behavior. It can be easy to get discouraged, but stay consistent and keep reinforcing positive behavior when it occurs. Your furry pal will get the hang of it.

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Ruff Time? AskVet Can Lend a Helping Paw

If you’ve tried different strategies to no avail, it may be time to seek outside help. A behaviorist can help you identify the underlying cause of your dog’s beginning and provide you with specific training strategies to address it. They can also help you develop a long-term plan to prevent begging in the future.

This advice is right at your fingertips when you’re an AskVet member. Head over to the app to schedule a virtual pet coaching session with one of our Certified Pet Coaches to discuss why your dog is having such a ruff time with their increased begging.

If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s easy to do. Head over to AskVet to sign up for an account, and once your account has been created you can schedule virtual sessions with one of our knowledgeable Certified Pet Coaches.

From there, you’ll work together to create personalized plans. Your pet’s coach will check in regularly to see how things are going, and make the necessary adjustments. It’s like having a personal life coach for your pet!

Another benefit of being an AskVet member is also having access to a peer-to-peer community where you can share tips and tricks, and even encouragement when training becomes a little difficult.

The help doesn’t end here. We can help support your pet with customized plans for pet health and wellness through every stage of their life. The best part? All of this support and knowledge is available 24/7 and for $9.99 a month.


Household Food Items Toxic to Dogs and Cats | NCBI

Why Your Dog Needs a Routine at Every Stage of Life | AKC

Crate Training Benefits: Why A Crate Is Great For You And Your Dog | AKC


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