How to Train Your Dog to Not Beg

Easy
1-8 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Having a dog brings with it a world of joy. You have someone to cuddle with while you watch your favorite show and you finally have a member of the family who can’t argue back. But while having a dog is relaxing, for the most part, it isn’t so relaxing when they constantly pester and beg you for food whenever you sit down to tuck into a tasty meal. You just want some peace and quiet to enjoy every mouthful of that delicious snack, without the feeling of guilt you get when you look down at your endearing dog.

It’s all fun and games to start with, but you gave in too much at the beginning and now you can’t eat anything without sharing it with your canine friend. But enough is enough, you don’t want to share anymore and you don’t want guests being pestered for food by your dog either.

Defining Tasks

Fortunately, training your dog not to beg is relatively straightforward. It will involve obedience training so you can send your dog out of the room when you’re eating. It will also involve patience and some willpower not to give in to your doggie pal, no matter how cute they look. That means you will have to toe the party line with the rest of the family; it needs to be a group effort.

With a puppy, successful training can take just a couple of weeks, but with older dogs who have been begging for years, a few extra weeks may be needed to fully break the habit. But don’t be put off by the time it takes, it is more than worth it to have a well-behaved dog, who leaves you to relax with your food and doesn’t pester you or guests when you’re feasting.

Getting Started

Before you get to work with your dog, you will need a number of things. Get hold of some doggie treats or break their favorite food into small chunks. You will also need a quiet room, free from distractions.

Then get a leash and, perhaps most importantly of all, find all your resilience, a begging dog could charm the pants off even the iciest of souls.
Once you have all those things, set aside 10 minutes a day for the next few weeks and you’re ready to tackle your begging dog once and for all.

The Cold Shoulder Method

ribbon-method-1
Most Recommended
9 Votes
Cold Shoulder method for Not Beg
Step
1
Call a family meeting
You need to inform the whole household that no one under any circumstances is to feed the dog anymore, unless it is in their bowl. No matter where you are eating, you do not give any food to your dog when it begs, no matter how cute it looks or how loud it whines.
Step
2
Do not make eye contact
If you are sitting on the sofa snacking and your dog comes to beg, ignore him. That also means don’t look at him. Just by giving it eye contact you are telling it that sitting there will get your attention. If he starts to whine loudly and doesn’t give up, take him out of the room and shut the door.
Step
3
Keep your dog around when you're eating at the table
As soon as he starts begging, put him in his crate or use a leash to secure them to something near their bed until you have finished eating. Showing them they will be excluded if they beg will reinforce that begging is the wrong behavior.
Step
4
Do not talk or interact with your dog at all while you are eating
Whether you are at the table, on the sofa, or seated outside, do not engage in any way with your dog. Any physical or verbal interaction fuels their mental state. Only the coldest of shoulders will reinforce that this is the wrong sort of behavior.
Step
5
Be patient
Dogs are creatures of habit and they won’t transform overnight. Instead, you need to practice the cold shoulder all day, every day and sometimes for many weeks. Just be persistent and don’t feel guilty, eventually they will learn begging gets them nowhere and because they yearn for your attention, they will stop doing it.
Recommend training method?

The Go to Bed Method

ribbon-method-2
Effective
5 Votes
Go to Bed method for Not Beg
Step
1
Get some treats and take your dog into the room where their bed is
You are going to teach your dog a command that will send them to their bed or place. That way whenever your dog begs, you can quickly send them away and enjoy your food in peace.
Step
2
Stand close to their bed and say ‘BED’
As you say this, lure them onto their bed entirely, until all 4 feet are on their bed or mat.
Step
3
Reward your dog as soon as they fully enter their bed
The trick is to reward them within 3 seconds. Any longer and they won’t associate the command with the reward.
Step
4
Slowly increase the distance and time
After several successful attempts, slowly increase the distance you are from their bed when you instruct them to go there. Lure them with a treat each time if you need to and be sure to reward them every time. Practice this for 10 minutes a day until you can send them to their bed even when you are in a different room. Also, slowly increase the time they lay on their bed before you give them the treat. Keep upping the time until you can leave them there for 10-15 minutes before they get up.
Step
5
Sit down on the sofa or at the table with food and repeat
When they start to beg, exactly as you did before, instruct them to go to their bed and lure them with a treat if need be. Keep practicing this each time you eat and they beg. When they have the hang of it, slowly reduce the frequency you give them treats until they are no longer needed at all. The key to this technique is consistency. If you send them away every time and master the ‘bed’ command, you will always be able to rid yourself of your begging dog whenever you desire.
Recommend training method?

The Time Out Method

ribbon-method-3
Least Recommended
6 Votes
Time Out method for Not Beg
Step
1
Get into a room that has no food or toys
This is going to be the ‘time out’ room that your dog goes in when they beg for food. The idea will be that the room is so boring they won’t want to risk begging in case they get sent there.
Step
2
Eat as you normally would
Keep a close eye out for your dog, you need to be ready to act swiftly when they beg.
Step
3
Send your dog away, or place them in the time out room
Try and send your dog to the room. If this doesn't work, place them in the time out room. After several minutes, let your dog back out of the room and continue with your meal.
Step
4
Repeat as necessary
If your dog comes back to you and begs again, place him back in the time out room. Again, leave them there for a few minutes and bring them back out. Even if they whine and bark, it is important you totally ignore them.
Step
5
Be consistent and get everyone on board
The key to success is sticking to this method for as many days or weeks that it takes. You may have many long meals and they may frequently go cold, but it will be worth it in the end when your dog breaks the begging habit. It is also essential you get the rest of the household on board. If one member of the family doesn’t stick to the time out rule, the dog will be confused and success will take much longer. So be patient, consistent and work as a team because eventually the time out room will be enough of a deterrent that your dog gives up begging for good.
Recommend training method?
author-img

Written by Amy Caldwell

Published: 09/20/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Bruno
Pugmatian
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bruno
Pugmatian
10 Weeks

How can I get Bruno to calm with nibbling

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1115 Dog owners recommended

Hello Robyn, Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method. BUT at the same time, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good as the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when he attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if he makes a good choice. If he disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told him not to. The order or all of this is very important - the Bite Inhibition method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite I would also work on teaching the Out command, and then use the section from the article on How to Use Out to Deal with Pushiness, to enforce it when pup doesn't listen, especially around other animals or kids. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Another important part of this is puppy learning bite inhibition. Puppies have to learn while young how to control the pressure of their mouths - this is typically done through play with other puppies. See if there is a puppy class in your area that comes well recommended and has time for moderated off-leash puppy play. If you can't join a class, look for a free puppy play group, or recruit some friends with puppies to come over if you can and create your own group. You are looking for puppies under 6 months of age - since young puppies play differently than adult dogs. Moderate the puppies' play and whenever one pup seems overwhelmed or they are all getting too excited, interrupt their play, let everyone calm down, then let the most timid pup go first to see if they still want to play - if they do, then you can let the other puppies go too when they are waiting for permission. Finding a good puppy class - no class will be ideal but here's what to shoot for: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ When pup gets especially wound up, he probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help him calm down and rest. Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep working at it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bruno's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Sugar
German Shepard Mix
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Sugar
German Shepard Mix
3 Years

She gets along fine with smaller dogs if we introduce them first but if I try to take her walking with me at the park she will drag me towards larger dogs who bark and her hair will stand up.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1115 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I recommend seeing if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area you can attend, which is a class for dog reactive/aggressive dogs who are intensively socialized with other dogs in a structured environment, with all the dogs wearing basket muzzles that have been introduced to them ahead of time, to help desensitize them to each other. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Sugar's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Dexter
Pit bull
7 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Dexter
Pit bull
7 Years

He whines when I leave the room or house if he can't be near me or able to get with me... how can I fix this?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1115 Dog owners recommended

Hello Matthew, I recommend teaching Place, Quiet, and Down first. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ I would practice those commands with pup. Once pup understands what they mean, work on pup staying on place and rewarding pup whenever they get quiet or stay quiet and stay on place, slowly adding a foot of distance at a time as pup improves, until you can be in a different room and pup will stay and be quiet. Out can also be a good command to teach for a dog who needs to learn to give more space. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Dexter's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Gemma
Siberian Husky
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Gemma
Siberian Husky
6 Months

She constantly jumping on me by and when I do get her to sit I reward her with petting her but the minute I stop she jumps up in my face

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1115 Dog owners recommended

Hello Paula, Check out the Step Toward method I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Gemma's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Ahyoka
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ahyoka
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
10 Months

Overly excited . Forget size and manners when anyone comes in contact with her besides myseelf

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
257 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here are some tips to help your overly excited dog. 1. Don’t Encourage Excited Behavior The worst thing you can do is to pay attention to an overly excited dog. He’ll just connect being excited with being rewarded. Instead, you should ignore him when he starts acting up. This means no stroking or patting, no talking, and no eye contact. If your dog attempts to jump up on you, immediately push him away and turn your back on him. 2. Encourage Calm Behavior Encouraging your dog to calm down is the flip side of the first tip. When your dog becomes calm and submissive, reward him with affection, lots of “good boys” or “good girls,” and possibly a treat. Ignoring excited behavior and rewarding calm behavior will send a message to your dog that calmer is better. 3. Wear Your Dog Out (and Possibly Yourself!) It’s easier to keep your dog calm if he doesn’t have sufficient energy to become overly excited in the first place. So make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. Just letting him out in the yard to do his business and run around won’t do. Your dog needs long walks to literally walk off his excess energy. 4. Provide Outlets Keeping your dog’s mind active with play can also help to reduce excess energy. Games like searching for a hidden treat, playing fetch, or running through an obstacle course are all excellent ways to stimulate your dog’s mind and drain his energy. However, you must set some limitations. This means that if your dog gets overly excited, the game ends. The dog needs to learn that if he gets too crazy, playtime goes away. 5. Keep Yourself Calm Most importantly, your dog won’t be calm if you aren’t. So, think about how you are able to correct your dog’s behavior. Can you calm your dog with just a few quiet words, or do you find yourself shouting “no, no” over and over in exasperation? If you recognize yourself in the shouting category, then you’re exacerbating your dog’s excitement. The only time you should correct a dog with a short loud sound is to get his attention if he’s about to do something dangerous like running into traffic. Be Patient Some overly excited dogs have natural high-energy levels. If your dog is like this, it can take some time before you start to see improvements in his behavior. The important thing is to remain consistent in your methods and not to give up.

Add a comment to Ahyoka's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd