Dog owners do it wrong whenever they feed their dogs from the table. Begging is a human-initiated problem and an unwanted behavior that can be addressed through positive reinforcement. In this video, English dog trainer and television presenter Victoria Stilwell uses vocal and pointing cues to teach her dog to stop from begging while she is eating.
According to Stiwell, you need to build up the process, cues, and actions before introducing human foods in the training. First, she teaches her dog how to go to her place, using a vocal cue ‘place’ and an action which is her pointed finger. Then, she guides her dog to a mat where her dog can go to. She rewards her dog with a treat after she is all four poster on the mat. Victoria stresses the importance of having a reliable stay cue in place to enable the dog to know what you are talking about.
On her website, Stilwell outlines several tips to stop your dog from begging at the table. Feeding the dogs from the dinner table is big NO, according to Stilwell. If your dog repeatedly does this behavior, you can stand up and block your dog with your body. A combination of physical hand signal and vocal cue such as ‘back’ are also suggested.
Training the dog on how to stop begging for food should be done first with no food at the table. You can test the behavior of your dog by gradually introducing food and increasing its value as your pet becomes more patient. Yelling at dogs which are persistent should be avoided. If the positive reinforcement techniques did not work, your dog must be placed in another room away from the temptation.
Victoria produced a series of videos titled “Teacher’s Pet”. This video highlights her Positively Method which she developed to train your dog the right way. The video also offers a guide on how to improve your communication with your dog and provides tips on how to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.