Teaching Table Manners

Screen-Shot-2015-10-13-at-12.13.57-PMYou can’t blame your dog for begging at the dinner table. However, there are a few things that can be done to prevent the behavior from forming and to deal with the behavior once it has already become one of your pup’s habits.

Prevent the Problem.

The best way to prevent begging is to avoid feeding your pet from the places your family often eats. If you do give your dog food from the dinner table, he will want to come back for more every night.

Some choose to prevent begging by removing their dogs from the room while eating. For example, baby gates can be used to confine your dog to one part of the house, or place him in an entirely different room. Crates can also be particularly useful in these cases. If you’d like your dog to stay in the same room as you but be able to ensure that he doesn’t have access to the dinner table, use a leash to keep him in his own space. Just remember to never leave your dog alone while tethered, as he can get tangled.

Deal with the Habit

If it’s too late for your dog as he has already discovered the fact that delicious morsels sometimes come from the dinner table, there are a few things that can be done in an attempt to break the begging habit.

Don’t give your dog any attention at all while he is begging; this includes negative attention, as it may just encourage the unwanted behavior. If you’ve tried ignoring your dog and he won’t stop begging, give him a few minutes in “time out”. Attach a lightweight leash to your dog’s collar while you are eating and when he starts to beg, lead him to his “time out” room, which should be a dog proofed room that is free of toys and people. Just a few minutes here should be enough to let your dog know that his behavior at the dinner table is not acceptable.

If you are able to consistently stick with this routine, over time your dog will have the best table manners on the block!