Dog begging is one of the more difficult habits to break. Nothing can be more heart-wrenching than a dog begging while looking at you with those big sad eyes while you are eating. It almost seems as if their eyes are talking to you, and you know what they would say if they could talk: "Please, just an itty-bitty piece of potato, or chicken, or roast beef. Pretty Please?" You can see it in their eyes; it almost seems as if they have tears.
Your dog does not actually have to be pawing at you or jumping up to the table to be considered "dog begging." Sitting there looking pitiful is just as bad. If you give in to your dog even once, you have just gotten the ball rolling towards a lifetime of begging. Then when you try to get him to stop, his modes of dog begging will intensify to whimpering, barking, growling, pawing and anything else he could possibly do to get your attention. Therefore, if you've just brought home a new puppy, do him and yourself a favor, don't ever let him taste table food ever.
Besides dealing with a dog begging at your side while you're eating, it is also extremely unhealthy for your dog. There are an array of human foods that can make your dog ill or even kill him. Dogs will eat any kind of human food you place under their noses because human food just tastes better. It has sugar and salt and all of those great flavor enhancers that dog food just doesn't have. Give them a choice and they will always pick human food over dog food any day. Another health risk in giving your dog table food is obesity. It is very common for a dog that eats table food to be obese and obesity has a whole list of other health problems associated with it. Your dog will also live a lot longer if you keep him away from table food. The best and most fool-proof way to eliminate dog begging is to never start him on table food, not a single crumb! It is best for him not to know what he is missing. You can't miss something you never had. If your dog has already tasted table food, it will be a more difficult task to train him to stop but with some persistence you can accomplish this task.
Keep a feeding schedule but be sure you feed your dog after the family finishes eating dinner. Your dog needs to know that he ranks last in the household. This will keep him from attempting to climb the social ladder, so to speak. If he gets a morsel at the dinner table, he may get the indication that he is moving up in rank which will cause him to get more aggressive if he doesn't get his scraps from the table. Teaching your dog the "Sit" and "Stay" commands can be effective in stopping your dog begging at the dinner table. Then when the family has finished eating, you can reward him with a treat and some praise for being a good dog during dinner. If at first he is too aggressive, have him stay in another room until the family finishes eating. Do not put him in a room that allows him to watch you eat. This will just frustrate him and make him whine and whimper. The best thing to do is send him outdoors. Then allow him into the room once the family has cleared the table, this way he won't have his mind on the left overs still sitting on the table. This is when you should place the food in his bowl and allow him to eat. Dog begging can be quite a nuisance and difficult to stop. When the dog isn't rewarded in the manner he is accustomed to, the real battle will begin. He will decide that he isn't receiving enough attention and begin to whine and howl loudly in complaint of the treatment. The process will take consistent work for several weeks and one weak moment of slipping the dog a treat just to be nice can ruin all the prior training so standing your ground and enforcing the rule of not giving meal time treats to the dog is a must. Begging is not a natural, instinctual behavior; it is a learned behavior. This means that at some point in his life, he will have learned that begging gets him results. You can prevent him from learning this exasperating behavior, with patience and time.