Brown dog with text "Begging"

Begging is one of those problems where the owner is usually to blame. It’s completely understandable. You look into that sweet face and just want to give him a little taste of food. One bite of the sandwich, a nibble of chicken, or a taste of cake. With some willpower and discipline from the owner, begging can be one of the easiest behaviors to correct.  

While giving the dog an occasional bite of human food isn’t necessarily dangerous, begging isn’t a behavior that should be encouraged. Begging can make mealtime extremely irritating and the more the dog is able to get away with it, the worse the behavior. The behavior is easier to correct in puppies, but not to fret, begging is a behavior that is easily corrected.

What can we do to prevent or deter the dog from begging? Here are a few suggestions from the American Kennel Club (AKC) on how to gain control of the begging situation.

• Feed the dog first

• Send the dog to a cozy spot at mealtime

• Ignore and redirect

• Teach the dog basic obedience

• Reward for good behavior

• Block access to the table

Resist the charms of the beggar! After all, puppy eyes can be ruthless. Be strong and above all else, stay consistent. Your guests – and your dog’s health – will thank you.

S. Paretts. Beggars Can’t Be Choosers: How to Stop Your Dog from Begging at the Table. American Kennel Club. Retrieved September 16, 2020.

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