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Breaking Your Dog’s Table-Begging Habit

You think your golden retriever Shelby could have a great career as a food taster. Shelby absolutely loves food, and he seizes every opportunity to sample something interesting. In fact, Shelby frequently scours your kitchen floor, looking for scraps while you prepare meals or snacks. While that’s not uncommon, Shelby doesn’t give up once your family sits down to eat. First, Shelby picks a victim and plops down next to them. Next, he turns on the special effects, whining softly while fixing his pitiful brown eyes on the victim’s plate. While Shelby often gets the food he wants, nagging your family and guests is completely unacceptable. You’ve asked your veterinarian from Hutchinson Island to give your pushy pooch some behavioral counseling. Read more about other solutions to Shelby’s table-begging habit.

Obedience Skills Opportunity

While Shelby completed an obedience class two years ago, his skills have clearly become rusty. Help Shelby refresh his memory by placing his bed near the dining table, but far enough away that he can’t crawl over to bother the diners.

Next, give Shelby a firm “Down-Stay!” command. Repeat that command every time Shelby tries to browbeat a new victim. After awhile, Shelby will get tired of hearing your voice. He’ll probably retreat to his bed where he’ll review his backup plan.

Break That Begging Cycle

Until today, Shelby has been rather successful with his begging behavior. In fact, he’s been so successful that he’s gained several pounds from scarfing down pilfered human food along with his own kibbles.

To immediately short-circuit Shelby’s behavior, ask your family and guests to pretend your dog simply isn’t there. That will make Shelby try harder to get the food he wants; however, the persecuted diners must resist the pressure so Shelby can begin to revamp his behavior.

Keep the Dining Room Off Limits

Of course, Shelby can’t perform his table-begging activities if he’s banished from the dining room. Place Shelby’s portable kennel in another room; and give him a nice blanket and his favorite toys. Or, give Shelby free run of a separate enclosed room. If your ravenous pooch can have treats, provide him with his favorite snack to distract him from the tempting, forbidden smells.

When Shelby next visits his Hutchinson Island vet, you can hopefully report that your pesky dog has stopped bothering your family and guests. Now, they’re able to enjoy their meals in peace.

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