dog eating from the plate

As much as we love our furry friends, it can be frustrating when they beg for food while we're trying to enjoy a meal. This behaviour can be challenging if it's a habit your dog has developed over time. It is a common problem among dogs and can frustrate owners.

Read on to learn some tips and techniques for discouraging begging behaviour and promoting good mealtime manners in your canine companion.

1. Teach Your Dog Basic Commands

The first step in preventing your dog from begging for food is to teach them basic obedience commands such as "sit," "stay," and "leave it." These commands will help your dog understand what is expected of them during mealtime. 

Start by teaching your dog to sit and stay in a designated spot during mealtime. 

2. Feed Your Dog Before Mealtime

One of the most common reasons dogs beg for food is their hunger. To prevent this, make sure you feed your dog before mealtime. This will ensure they are not hungry and less likely to beg for food. Additionally, ensure your dog has access to fresh water throughout the day.

3. Use Positive Reinforcement

Utilising positive reinforcement is an effective method for promoting desirable conduct in canines. Whenever your dog stays away from your plate or follows your commands, reward them with a treat or praise. This will reinforce good behaviour and make your dog more likely to repeat it.

4. Avoid Eye Contact

Eye contact can be seen as a form of encouragement for dogs. Avoid making eye contact with your dog when begging for food. Instead, focus on your meal and ignore your dog's behaviour. This will show your dog that begging for food is unacceptable.

5. Use a Crate or Playpen

If your dog is particularly persistent in begging for food, you can use a crate or playpen to keep them away from the dining area. This will give your dog a designated space during mealtime and prevent them from bothering you while you eat.

6. Provide Distractions

Providing your dog with distractions during mealtime can also be helpful. To prevent your canine companion from interrupting your meal, it is recommended to give them a chew toy or a puzzle toy that contains treats to engage them. This will help redirect their attention away from your plate and prevent them from begging for food.

7. Be Consistent

Consistency is vital when it comes to training your dog. Ensure everyone in your household is on board with the training and follows the same rules. If one person gives in to your dog's begging behaviour, it can undo all of the progress you have made. Stick to the rules and be consistent in your training.


Keeping your dog's paws off your plate is a crucial habit to establish for various reasons. Not only is begging behaviour annoying and disruptive during mealtime, but it can also lead to unhealthy habits. 

By consistently training and providing your dog with alternative activities during mealtime, you can effectively discourage begging behaviour and create a more peaceful dining experience for you and your furry friend.

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