Dog Begging at Dinner Time

dog eating food

Does your puppy or dog Beg, Borrow or Steal from your dinner table? Turn the tables on him! You can turn begging, “borrowing” or stealing from the dinner table into an asset by following this simple plan.

So many times we see behavior we don’t like and think “how can I stop that?” We do ourselves a great disservice because then our focus is on ‘stopping’ the behavior we don’t want rather than training the behavior we DO want.

Why do dogs beg or steal from the dinner table? Quite simply, they want food.

Some dogs are particularly brazen (and agile) and will attempt to steal food directly from the table. This is usually met with some sort of reprimand, but if your dog has ever been successful in his raid then the pattern is set. If you leave your plate unattended (except by your vigilant dog), then don’t be too surprised to find half your dinner missing when you return.

It has nothing to do with dominance. It has just become reinforced behavior.

Other dogs aren’t quite so brazen, or would have physical difficulty in stealing directly from the table. These dogs tend to ‘beg’, by staring, drooling, pawing or whatever works to get them a little of the delicious meal you have prepared. Their behavior only needs to be reinforced once and it will take a very long time to go away without any further reinforcement (and that means from anyone, even by accident).

However, we can turn this begging or stealing into an asset by ‘turning the tables’ (so to speak) on our pet!

First up, we need to decide what we would prefer our dog to do instead of begging or stealing. I would almost always prefer a ‘down’ – as in ‘lying down quietly’. My dogs are big, and when they sit, long shoelaces of drool dangle disgustingly from their mouths. Laying down just looks better to me.

To begin with, during actual meals we will lock our dogs out of the room or put them in their crates. This is so we can enjoy a meal without having to train. In the early stages we need to concentrate on training.

If you have more than one dog, just work with one at a time at first. Lock the other dogs out of the room.

Have your dog’s normal meal in a bowl on the dinner table. Obviously, a clean bowl is preferred for reasons of hygiene.

If your dog doesn’t already know how to lay down on command, then take a piece of food and lure him into position. If you don’t know how to do this, find out.

Silently, count to 1 in your head and give him some food if he is still laying down.

Now count to 2 in your head, and give him some food if he is still laying down.

Now count to 3 in your head, and give him some food is he is still laying down.

If at any point your dog gets up, then ask him to lay down again and re-start your count at 1.

When your dog can stay laying down for a count of 30, you can start using this exercise during normal meals unless you have another dog. If you have two or more dogs, start working with both of them when they can both stay down for a count of 30. When they can both stay down for a count of 30 together, then you can start using this exercise during normal meal times.

* Please note that the opinions of the dog lessons articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions or practices of any or all employees of 

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Young Children And Pups – Have You Choosen A Dog You Can Love

kids with dogs

Have You Chosen a Dog You Can Love?

For as long as I can remember there has been a dog around our home. We’ve had muts, dogs with long pedigrees, rescued dogs, and dogs we’ve looked after while other members of the family were away on holidays.

The purpose of this article is to flag some issues a potential dog owner needs to think about when introducing a pup into a home where there are small children. I start from the belief that dogs and children go together like a horse and cart. However, because of a child’s unpredictability there are, however, a few issues that need flagged.

Not every dog is suitable for a child and equally not every child is suitable for a dog! From my observations most of the problems arise with children under the age of six. If you are thinking of taking a dog into your home when you have children of this age then you must think long and hard before making the decision.

My main concern would be with large dogs. The majority of larger dogs have been bred as guard dogs, or have a history of aggression, they are generally high-energy dogs and if excited may well knock children over.

Parents with a small family are generally very busy people, more so if it’s a one parent family. Question. Have you the time to look after a high maintenance dog like a Dachshund?

Here is a smallish dog, they’re comical and entertaining and don’t really need a lot of exercise. They also socialize well with people and other family pets and have a long life span.

But the longhaired variety will need constant brushing and combing, and both it and the smooth variety shed more hair than you might think. They also tend to have a ‘distinctive odour,’ which may be unacceptable around children. From a vetenary view point an alarming number become crippled or paralyzed in middle age due to disk disease in their long backs.

Now I’m not knocking the Dachshund, it is a lovely animal, I’m using it by way of illustration with and asking would this fit in your families lifestyle?

It’s not my intention to make recommendations because every family situation is different; what is right for you may not be right for you next door neighbor!

Now you’ve carried out your research, the next step is to gather up the essentials and puppy-proof you home. Your puppy is going to need a place his own space, a cage or crate will fit the bill. Purchases one that is big enough for him to use as an adult.

The pup will need food and water bowls, toys to chew on and play with, a collar and leash, a bag of a good quality dry puppy food, and plenty of newspapers!

When the puppy arrives try and insure it has some settling in time, a day or two, before the children play wit it. Set down rules for the children and ensure they stick by them. I strongly recommend that a dog is not allowed to sleep in the bed with children, it can cause medical and behavioral problems.

Its vital that you teach your children how to treat the dog, plan on spending lots of time training the dog and the children. A dog is for life so spend the time now to avoid difficulties in the future.

Educate yourself. Buy and read training books: consider enrolling your puppy in an obedience class. Well-trained dogs are a joy to be around and a requirement when children are involved.

A common worry for parents is how a dog will react when a new baby comes along. This is a major subject in its own right but generally speaking most family dogs do not react badly. Like the other children they will be curious and may feel left out but these feelings soon pass.

Problems start when the baby becomes a toddler it’s then both toddler and dog get in each others way! My personal opinion is that by this time the dog will have come to know and accept the child and will even be protective towards it: but safety must come first, I recommend, not separation, but keeping them apart as much as possible.

Like all things to do with dogs a little common sense goes a long way and if you know your dog there should be few problems.

* Please note that the opinions of the dog lessons articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions or practices of any or all employees of

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