While getting your dog to sit and beg or “sit pretty” can be a great way to train your dog, what you don’t want your dog doing is begging for food or treats. Not only is it annoying, but it can be dangerous in several situations. Say your long-lost cousin comes down and stays a few days with you. If little FiFi is begging, he may give her something she shouldn’t have. She might be allergic to it, or it might just be bad for dogs. Many people do not realize that most “human” foods are not okay for dogs, especially after they have been seasoned and cooked. Begging in the kitchen can be dangerous for you and your dog. If your dog is too busy begging in or near the kitchen, they may not pay attention to where people are walking or stepping. Tripping over FiFi can cause serious injury for you and her.
So, how does one stop the “I’m looking at you. I’m looking at your food. I’m looking at you. Now, I’m whining” kind of begging? First off, take a deep breath and accept reality. Your dog begging is very possibly your own doing. Back when FiFi was only a small, cute, fluffy puppy, she was just so adorable. It was hard to deny her anything, including that oh-so-tiny piece of bread off your plate. There was the carrot you were eating once. You weren’t going to finish it anyway, right? So, what’s the harm? The harm is that your dog more than likely picked up on begging through the times that you fed her from your plate, or while you were standing and eating and/or cooking.
If preventing the action is no longer an option, then you must correct the behavior. If FiFi is begging, try feeding her dog food while you eat. This way, she will learn that she eats her food and you eat yours. Some dogs will not be inclined to ignore your food and eat their own. If this is the case, the best way to get your dog to stop begging is to command him/her to their bed. This can take some practice and may take multiple times of physically taking your dog to their bed, unless they are already trained to do so. If they beg from their bed, your best bet is to ignore them. Most dogs will tire of begging when they aren’t getting anything out of it. It may take a few meals, but stick to your guns, and eventually your dog will get the idea. Just don’t give in and feed your dog because they’re begging, otherwise all your work will be for nothing.