If you’re the proud pet parent to a dog that always begs at the dinner table, it’s best not to feed your dog tidbits to eliminate this behavior. This is a common complaint from dog parents and one that is difficult to end. But yet, we all tend to reinforce this behavior because it’s hard not to do so. In this case, Stilwell advises via Animal Wellness Magazine, "The best way to prevent begging is to never feed your dogs from the dinner table. If you have a dog prone to doing this, get in his way." She continues, "Block his path with your body and say “back” while waving him off, but do not physically move him or yell at him. Blocking is how dogs control space with other dogs; by doing this yourself, you’re clearly communicating to him that you want your space while at the dining table."
“If you need to move your dog into another room, you will not be reinforcing bad behavior,” adds Stillwell. “You will instead be moving him from temptation, and setting him up for success by not giving him the ability to practice the begging behavior.”
Etiquette expert Dianne Gottsman recommends that it’s very important to respect your guests, noting “If you have a group of friends who are excited about bringing their dogs to a holiday party, by all means, enjoy the season with your dog. However, if you’re hosting a party for a mixed group of people, some perhaps with allergies, it would be best to throw a separate party for them, and maybe host another for your fellow dog parents, who you know will be open to animals being around,” (Animal Wellness, volume 15, issue 6, page 24.)
Teaching your furry best friend good manners around guests takes time, and should begin during puppyhood. “Petiquette” needs to be taught early on while your pup is young. If you reinforce good behavior from day one, you won’t have a problem later on when your family and friends arrive for the holidays!
Keep in mind that is always helps to have plenty of new dog toys around in your dog’s own personal space to keep him occupied.