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How to Stop Dog Begging

Pet Peeves: I'm Begging Him to Stop Begging!

Q: My dog has the very annoying habit of begging for food. It's especially bad when we have people over for dinner – he literally walks from person to person waiting, sometimes jumping with paws up on their laps to see what's on the table or go for the food right off their fork (or plate) – help!

A: Consistency is key to solving this problem. After all, dogs can't magically tell the difference between "OK begging" and "not OK begging" so you must make begging never OK. While banishing a dog to another room is one option, space may not make this possible . . . and, with enough effort, you can retrain your pup.

I'd recommend never giving your pet any treats while you are making or eating food. (Right before dinnertime is not the time to work on a sit-stay.) Teach your furry friend that he's not going to get food just because you're preparing food. In fact, I make North do a full sit before I put his dish on the ground – he's not allowed to go to it until I give him the release command.

See one more tip when you keep reading.

I like to give my pet a long-lasting toy or treat just before a meal with company. Offering it up to him before everyone takes their seats will not have him mistakenly perceive this as a reward because he hasn't had a chance to start fussing yet . . . and keeps him occupied, too!

Source: Flickr User plasticrevolver

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