Make Your Dog’s Begging Less Bothersome

With a little training, your dog won’t be too proud to beg properly.

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
4-minute read
Episode #4

Troubleshooting the Begging Training

When I know my dog has no way to get what he wants, and so will eventually try the behavior I want, I find it easiest just to wait him out. Though if that idea sounds miserable instead of restful to you, try this. Put the dog bed right next to your seat and ask your dog to lie on it. As soon as he does, give him a table scrap. You can give him the cue “Stay,” if and only if he already has a lot of practice at holding a stay in the face of distractions. Give him treats frequently as long as he’s lying down. If he gets up, you can cue him to lie down again. But I suggest ignoring him and letting him figure it out, instead. That way he’ll start lying down automatically at every meal, without waiting for a cue from you.

When your dog is good at lying quietly, you can start stretching the time between treats just as with the wait-your-dog-out method I described first.

Another point to remember: how quickly you can teach your dog any habit depends on how long he’s been practicing other habits. Expect a puppy to take a few days to learn that successful begging entails lying down. Expect an adult dog who’s been mooching successfully his whole life to take a good long time to unlearn that habit. Remember how long it took you to start working out regularly? Ahem.

Questions or comments for the Dog Trainer? Call 206-600-5661, or email me at dogtrainer@quickanddirtytips.com. Bye for now, and don’t forget to have fun with your dog!

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Jolanta holds professional certifications in both training and behavior counseling and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also volunteered with Pet Help Partners, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works to prevent pet relinquishment. Her approach is generally behaviorist (Pavlovian, Skinnerian and post-Skinnerian learning theory) with a big helping of ethology (animal behavior as observed in non-experimental settings).