The day I got my four month old puppy, I put her in my lap and ate a hamburger. She is now ten years old, doesn't know what people food tastes like, and can take a nap in my lap while I'm eating.
When you go over to those friends' houses with begging dogs, say something like, "Oh, look how cute, he wants food. Can I feed him?" If they really don't want the dog to be feed, at least you've brought to their attention that the dog thinks he will be feed. If they say yes, give him lots of food! You don't own a dog, you "don't know any better!"
My ex has entitled cats, I'm so relieved I don't have to remember anymore there's food left on the counter!
IME, People are either too lazy or incompetent to train them manners. These are usually the same dogs that will jump up on you, or stick their snout in your crotch or butt, or hump your leg.
FWIW, I've owned my dog for 4.5 years now, and in all that time, she has jumped on a guest exactly once, She's not a snout spelunker, and she has never humped anyone's leg. She and I walk my son to and from school ever school day, she walks beside me politely, and sits quietly at my side while all the children run screaming out of the building right past her. And I get tons of compliments from other parents, the crossing guards, and my neighbors about how well-behaved my dog is.
And at home, she watches us eat. Because I like to share my dinner with her, I knew full well what the consequences of doing so were when I started, and I'm really okay with that.
I'll try to remember not to invite you over for dinner
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
I have not read all the replies, bu will respond anyway. I have three dogs, one doesnt count because he is a puppy and not trained, yet. The pup gets put in his crate, where he hangs out quietly until I let him out. The poodle, he is a standard and big, lies under the table. He takes up all of the space because he is stretched out and sleeping. The schnauzer is never around the table, she sleeps somewhere while we eat. Begging is not allowed. Period.
dogs do what works- whatever behaviors they engage in that are likely to give them food, they are more likely to do again in future.
So if you don't want your dog to "beg", simply never, ever, give the dog food when the dog begs.
If you only give the dog food when the dog is being "good", as defined by you, then when the dog sees food and wants it, the dog will engage in whatever behaviors are most likely to give the dog food. If, in the past, you've given your dog bits of your dinner only when the dog is lying quietly in his designated place, then as soon as anyone starts eating a meal all the dogs rapidly go lie down in their designated places, waiting for their reward, because they have learned that is WHAT WORKS.
It has nothing to do with not feeding the dog "people food" or not (what a stupid term- people food and dog food are the same thing, it's all food, made out of the same stuff); it has to do with WHEN you feed the dog and WHAT the dog is doing when you feed it, not what you feed the dog. Many people home-cook for their dogs, or share their meals with their dogs, and these dogs only beg if their owners reward the beggging by feeding begging dogs.
However, many dog owners find themselves being undermined by random people's behavior- I was horrified to once catch someone teaching my previously well-behaved dog to jump up on her in order to get food. Yes, this idiot thought it was fun to lure dogs to jump up on her and then she'd give them food. Or lots of dogs learn that if they beg, beg, beg at strangers the stranger will give them food- you'll notice these dogs never try to beg for food from their owners because it doesn't work with the owners. But it does with the strangers/guests, so DOGS DO WHAT WORKS.
If you go to someone's house and the dog is begging for food from you, try patting the dog on the head vigorously- dogs hate being patted on the head. Then ignore the dog, completely, don't look at it at all. Most likely the dog will move on to try for another sucker.
OF course, some dog owners enjoy feeding their begging dog- so they do, and the dog begs, and everyone is happy. Can't blame the dog there, it's the owners fault. But if the owner likes it, it's ok. Until the guest comes over. I think owners should consider a bit about what they teach their dogs- even if they enjoy certain dog behaviors, if the vast majority of people in the world would think such behaviors were obnoxious, dog owners should re-consider allowing their dogs to do those things and instead teach their dogs how to be be well-behaved in the real world. But it's never the dog's fault- its the owner.
same thing with horses who have learned that if they are pushy and rude they will get treats- it's the owners fault. Entirely. And here, rude pushy horses can actually be dangerous, so owners should strongly consider not rewarding their horses for being rude and pushy about getting treats, even if for some bizzarre reason they enjoy it.
I find it so annoying and so rude to be at another persons house with their dog staring at you, drooling and begging in your face. Even ruder if you politely make it clear that you find the behavior annoying and the host brushes it off.
It is NOT hard to teach a dog not to beg. You are supposed to be the alpha of the pack. We give our dog a very occasional piece of our food, but the second it turns to begging, she gets told (nicely) to go lie down/stop begging. Since she knows what we mean, she will do it. If she doesn't, the voice gets raised, which is usually enough for her. Any animal (horse, dog) can (and SHOULD) be taught to have respect while getting treats.
Our dog would watch you while you ate, nobody seemed to care. My sister would get creeped out if he was breathing on her knee, but other than that, nobody cared. He just watched, occasionally drooled. If told to back up, he'd back up, but he'd eventually inch his way back. And more often than not, he'd get the last bite. Yeah, we're bad.
On the other hand, we have three cats (currently four) who all have to watch you eat, too. Only they have less polite manners. Molly will watch politely, but Buffy will boldly try to shove her face in your plate, and Willow will let fly with a paw and try to take your food right from your fork. Young Marcy watches and learns. Oftentimes, you eat while hovering over your plate, elbows out to the sides. I don't know why, but it just doesn't matter so much to us. We think it's funny, and we never have company over, so it doesn't matter. Jake died a few months ago, and I would give anything to have his hot breath on my knee while I'm eating toast, maybe a little smear of slobber on the couch.
Some people are like slinkies...not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.
Mine are generally good - a hopeful, wistful look here and there but they back off when told.
The exception is Simon the ACD/shepherd cross and pizza. For some reason, pizza totally short-circuits the manners part of his brain and he gets downright rude. He is AWFUL when there's pizza about and it's a mystery as to why, since he's never had anything more than a bite or two of crust, and he only gets that in his bowl once we are done eating.
The last time my husband brought home a pizza, we were waiting on a guest to arrive and thus set the pizza on the counter for oh, 15 minutes or so. Simon followed both of us around the house barking, and it was very definitely a "GIMME NOW!" bark. It was hard not to laugh, but we managed to at least get him to tone it down before our guest arrived.
What bugs me are people who allow their cats free roam of the counters and tables. Um, those feet that are strolling around the food prep surface have been in the litter box. Yuck.
All of the dogs we raised as puppies are pretty good about not begging, but the dog we rescued as a 6 year old begs because I assume it was encouraged for the first 6 years of his life. It really doesn't bother me because he just stares at you, but doesn't bother you... I try not to sweat the small stuff I guess...
But what would bother me immensely is an animal that potties in an indoor sand box and then proceeds to walk all over my house and all over my furniture and counters with its litter feet.
Admittedly I only read the first page of responses, so just putting in my 2 cents...
I grew up with dogs and have had my own. Every dog has the ability to behave, but some are more difficult to train than others. And it really is ALL about the training for most dogs (there are very few who are born with total manners). So, it depends on the dedication of the owners as to how well behaved they will be. I will admit that, growing up with dogs, I don't mind begging as much as some people. However, I always demand that they sit, relaxed and quiet, on the floor. Otherwise, they get nothing. If they are good, they get 1 or 2 bites, but have to be patient and well-behaved. Being *relaxed* is the key there. They aren't staring me to death. They patiently wait for a bite.
However, dogs also learn who creates boundaries and who they can get away with bad behavior with. At my Mom's house, there are 3 dogs. These dogs are perfect for me while eating. My Mom creates no boundaries. So, when she eats in her La-Z Boy, 2 crawl in her lap (all 3 are toy breeds) and practically drool in her plate, while the third goes up on the top of the chair and pretty much sits on her shoulder, occassionally trying to grab a piece. Yeah - they know who makes them behave and who doesn't.
My Boston is terrible at begging.
We got him as a 6 year old with the "beggar" instict already there, and clearly rewarded for it in the past.
At this time, there is not much I care to do about it, it doesn't bother me to be honest, but if I have guests over then he will be put away if they're annoyed by it. We are a dog family and have dog friends, so most of our guests just know to ignore the offending behaviour.
Growing up we had strict guidelines for our dogs. No going upstairs or on any furniture, no people food, and all dogs in a down-stay away from the table at meals.
Then 4 years ago I got my first dog who is just mine. I started her out with the same rules, she learned them no problem. But we move around a lot and most of the time she's the only friend I have. And I've realized that I LIKE having her on my bed. And she sits next to me while I eat and I share with her. Because I like it. Not because I'm ignorant or I'm a lazy pet owner.
If I have guests over I can tell her to go to her spot and she'll lay on her bed for the duration of the meal. But I usually don't, because most of the people I invite over don't care if she stares at them.
Job Michael Evans, a favorite dog trainer of mine, would ask, "Do you have the dog you want?". If you do then it's all good. Like you I like my dog (used to be dogs) and cats in my bed. I like sharing my food with them.
He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).
The begging thing as you call it ... Is anything the owners allow. OK ...I allow my dog to stare, put his head in my lap. But he does not take anything from a table,(his head is more than table top height) or make noise. I do not allow that. If my guests object, there is a command to leave or lay down. ALL IS TRAINING.
I have 3 well-behaved dogs, they beg. We tell them to go away and they do...usually I just don't care. We hardly ever feed them off the table, but it really doesn't bother me that they stare at my food. None of my friends or family members care that they beg. If I'm having a dinner party, the dogs are away anyways so they're not running about and playing - but honestly if you're just over my house eating dinner then people don't mind the dogs, they're part of the family. All of my friends/family know how to tell them to get lost and do it.
You can definitely train any dog to be well-behaved. I find most people aren't enough disciplined to do that, or they just don't care.
My dog never begged until I had to leave her for a month with a friend (who also had a dog). She came back, she tried to beg. I quickly reminded her her "manners", and that was that.
When I had the above-mentioned friend's dog (lab/chow mix) for 3 months, he was TERRIBLE. Jumping on furniture to look out the window, barking at every little noise, aggressive around food, jealous of my young kids, etc. etc. His owners got him as a puppy AND spent dear money to "have him trained", too!
So I trained him. It took some time, since he'd be living for 3 or 4 years with basically no training, but I got him to at least stop jumping on the furniture and especially, to stop barking. I could never walk him off the leash tho, he had NO call back whatsoever and would just run off. It was such an eye opener for me, because I grew up with dogs and we always, always trained the "basics" into them right from the start.
So my friend comes back, gets her dog, then a few days later she says "He looks sad...he's not barking at all anymore"!
I don't mind sharing food with the dogs, I just don't like them to be getting up in my face every time I have a cracker. When the food I have is something they CAN have, I usually share it (into their dog bowls, not from the table) during the prep stage. I have to admit, they do their begging on the kitchen floor beside the counter where I cut up fruits and vegetables; carrots and apple slices are their favorite treats by far.
It's not that I don't want to share, or want them to have enjoyable treats, I just don't want them to think they're in charge of how treats are handed out. With over 100 pounds of dog in the house, I feel like the boundaries make us and all our guests more comfortable.
They are welcome to share the couch and the bed, though. We had a 'no dogs on the furniture' rule growing up and I hated it. Settling into bed next to my big, warm, cuddly dogs is one of the best parts of my day.
It is difficult to train a dog not to do the staring, sighing, dramatic looks, etc. Dogs that have a tendency to beg can be taught to do a down stay during times when people are eating. It takes time and patience to train them to do that, though, and so many dogs do not know how.