Resolution #2 – I will beg less.

Your dog will beg less if you don’t give in to his whining and cunning ways.  Be strong – you can do it!  One way to curb this behavior is to ignore, and I mean completely ignore the behavior.  No looks, no yelling, no nothing.  It’s hard.  Want to experiment with a better way?  If your dog is crate trained, ask him to go to his crate and give him a yummy treat that will keep him occupied for awhile, not necessarily your entire meal time, but for the first few minutes, at least.  If he is not crate trained, let’s train him to go to his mat, his bed, or his favorite other place, give him the down/stay command in a quiet but firm voice.  Provide him with a yummy Kong filled with a favorite treat that will help distract him from the dining room table.  If his down/stay command is reliable then he should stay until you release him.  If his down/stay command is not reliable you might consider tethering him to a piece of furniture that he cannot move.  (We will cover a reliable stay command in a future post.  It is not difficult but it does take a little work.)  If the dog is secure in his crate it will not take him long to settle into his treat and he may even fall asleep while he waits.  If the dog is not crate trained, has a somewhat reliable stay command but ventures away from his place, gently return him to his spot, get him back into a down/stay and resume your meal.  You may have to do this more than once but remain consistent and patient.  Whatever you do, do not reward the newly established habit by rewarding him with food from the table.  This behavior is completely and totally under your control.  The dog whines and begs because it has worked in the past.  It will take a couple of meals to make him understand that the rules have changed.  Reward the new behavior with a couple of ball tosses or play.  If you love clicker training this is a great time to use it to establish a different behavior.

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