When you sit down to eat dinner, does your dog try to get in on the action? It’s hard to resist sharing your meal with your dog when he looks up at you with those eyes, but begging at the table can quickly become a problem. To help owners teach their dog to kick the bad habit, American Kennel Club® (AKC) Canine Good Citizen® Director and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Mary Burch, Ph.D., offers the following tips how to stop begging at the table before it becomes a nuisance.
- Be consistent. Do not give in when your dog begs you. You need to ignore the begging all the time, and make sure friends and family members do the same. “Consistency is key to changing your dog’s behavior,” said Dr. Burch.
- Feed your dog before yourself. You should feed your dog before you sit down to eat. That way, you’ll have a dog who is not hungry and is more apt to settle down.
- Teach basic skills. Another way to manage your dog during meal times is to have taught basic skills such as a reliable down-stay. This alternative behavior can be used to deter begging.
- Reward good behavior. Don’t forget to reward your pooch for a job well done. If your dog has been well-behaved throughout the meal then take that one last bite of meat and put it in his dish – not directly into his mouth from the table. Your dog will learn this routine and might start to wait by his dish for a treat.
For more tips on training your dog, visit http://caninegoodcitizen.wordpress.com/, the official blog of the Canine Good Citizen® program sponsored by The Hartford.
© The American Kennel Club, Inc.