Training Your Dog to Stop Begging at the Table

There’s nothing more annoying than a barking dog next to the dinner table, especially when entertaining company. Dog owners learn to ignore their barking and begging dog, but don’t think that guests will be able to tune out the high-pitched or ear-piercing sounds of your four-legged family member. They’ll politely ignore the noisy pest, but they probably won’t be so quick to accept future dinner invitations.

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to teach old dogs new tricks, and you can train your dog to stop begging at the table. All it takes is a little initiative, perseverance, and canine psychology. Dogs understand more than people realize, and teaching your dog manners isn’t as difficult as you might think. Try the following tips, and in time, you will successfully stop your dog from making a nuisance of himself and begging at the table.


Unlike cats, dogs should have specific times for meals. Feed your dog right before you sit down to the table, and consider mixing a tablespoon or two of low-fat cottage cheese, liver sausage, or another tasty treat, in with his regular food. He’ll be much less likely to beg for scraps when he’s busy enjoying his dinner.

Putting Your Dog in His Place

Begging sometimes results in handouts, and food sometimes accidentally falls on the floor. Dogs are much smarter than many people realize, and they certainly remember food, especially when it’s as delicious as food intended for people. One handout or one morsel of food inadvertently dropped on the floor is all it takes to turn any dog into a four-legged beggar.

Don’t allow your dog to stand near the table while you’re eating. Designate a place for your dog during mealtime, and if he isn’t eating his own food, order him to go to his area. Show your dog who the boss really is, and take the initiative to make him go to a specific location. With a lot of persistence, your dog will finally understand that handouts from the table aren’t an option.

After Dinner Treats

Treats are rewards for good behavior, so when your dog no longer begs during mealtime, reward him with an after dinner dog treat. A breath-freshening bone or another treat especially for dogs is a great way to satisfy his appetite and reward him appropriately. Your dog wants nothing more than to please you, and as much as your dog loves to sample food from the table, with perseverance on your part, he’ll eventually learn table manners and stop begging at the table once and for all.

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One comment

  1. my dogs beg with their eyes… lol They are actually pretty good about not interrupting us eating but they lay right there waiting for the last few fork fulls from me. They just leer are us with drool strands (and that’s the labs!) I really need to make they go away when we eat, but our dinner time is really non-traditional.

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