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How to Train Your Dog to Not Beg at Table

You teach your dog to beg by feeding her treats from the table, so training her to not beg should be as easy as not feeding her from the table, right? Retraining your dog takes firmness and perseverance, especially in households with several people.

Every time you reward your dog’s efforts with a treat from the table, you’re systematically teaching her not to take “no” for an answer. Intermittent rewards are the strongest incentive to continue a behavior.

At first, your pooch won’t believe you’re serious; after all, you were the one who started it in the first place. She digs a little deeper into her repertoire of begging routines. She may sit up, nudge you, paw you, or whine in the most pathetic tone.

As this scenario repeats itself, often with longer intervals before someone gives in, your dog is being trained to persevere at all costs and never give up. Looking at it from her point of view, you’re rewarding, even encouraging, the very behavior you want to stop.

When you finally and completely stop rewarding the undesired behavior (begging), your dog will stop begging at the table. As soon as you stop giving in to her, your dog’s efforts will decrease, until over time, and provided you don’t have a relapse, she’ll stop begging altogether.

In technical jargon, you have extinguished the undesired behavior by refusing to reward it. Consistency is key.

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