Stop Your Dog’s Unsavory Table-Begging Behavior

Your retriever mix Rocky is a confirmed food hound. Your four-year-old canine housemate takes every opportunity to ferret out a free bite. At mealtime, he inhales his kibbles before scarfing down the cat’s leftovers. Throughout the day, he trolls the kitchen counters; and recently he snatched some crackers from your hand. However, this week Rocky’s food-scrounging antics escalated to a new level. After your family gathered for dinner, your determined dog settled down beside a victim. He stared at them with his pitiful brown eyes, pleading for a handout. To make him leave, they slipped him a table scrap. Unfortunately, that initial success left him wanting more. Clearly, it’s time for your persistent pooch to learn some manners. Tomorrow, he’ll visit your Shawnee, KS veterinarian for expert behavioral counseling. Also consider these other strategies.

Obedience Refresher

Although Rocky previously completed an obedience class, he has conveniently forgotten some lessons. Provide a refresher by placing his bed in the dining room, but away from the table. Give a firm “Down-Stay!” command – and prepare to enforce it.

When your clever dog inches closer to the table, restate the command. Make sure he returns to his bed. Hopefully, he’ll get tired of hearing your voice and will abandon his game – for now.

Banish the Begging

If your canine delinquent won’t concede defeat, look at the bottom line. Your single-minded pooch keeps begging because that behavior has been successful. In fact, he has gobbled up so much excess food that he has packed on several pounds. Now, he might be at risk for weight-related health problems.

Break this unhealthy cycle by asking your family to ignore Rocky during dinnertime. He’ll probably increase the pressure; however, they must withstand the fierce assault. When your petulant pooch doesn’t get the desired response, he’ll be more likely to change his behavior.

Off-Limits Dining Room

If your dog won’t quit, banish him from the dining room. Place his crate in another part of the house; and bring in his favorite blanket and toys. Or, allow him to roam freely in a secured room. If treats are permitted, distract him with some snacks.

When Rocky next visits your Shawnee, KS veterinarian, he should be a better-behaved dog who leaves your family alone during meals. If your dog won’t stop begging for food, contact us for expert advice.

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