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You’ve made it through the holiday season. Grandma and Grandpa have gone home. Nieces and nephews no longer add to the decibel level in your basement theatre room and the path of cookies, cakes and snacks has been cleaned up. Life is back to normal…or is it? You’ve realized that meal time has changed and wonder: Why is the dog staring at you from the time you sit down to dinner to the time you clear the dishes? Every. Single. Bite. They are watching you from approximately 15 inches away with an intensity that rivals a neurosurgeon in the O.R. What happened to create this monster? Could it be that they may have had a morsel or two from the table during all that chaos? Have they learned that food from the table comes with just a flash of the “I’m so hungry. Won’t you help a guy out?” eyes? Perhaps Aunt Jessie (name has been changed to protect the not-so-innocent) felt like she simply couldn’t eat in front of the dogs without sharing? Whatever the case may be, a new reality has set in. You now have a beggar on your hands. Dogs begging from the table can be an annoyance. Today we will look at a couple ways to curtail this habit so that you can enjoy your meal without heavy scrutiny and a major guilt trip from a fur-ball.
First things first: Everyone in the household should be on the same page with this. If you are going to train your dog not to beg from the table, no one in the family should be sharing their meals with the dog. Even one bite teaches them that if they beg long enough or at the right person’s side, the reward will come. They're smart little boogers.
Once the entire family has agreed on this principle, you can then begin to train the dog. Here are a few ideas to make the begging stop:
Above all, be patient and consistent with your dog during this re-learning process. She really does want to please you; but she also wants a bite of that grilled chicken.