While it's generally not a good idea for your dog to be truly begging for scraps at the table, getting her to sit pretty—act like she's begging—is a fun and comical trick to teach. This is also a good trick to build other tricks on. You can get your dog to act like she's praying, or to reach for the sky if you make a gun-hand-gesture. This is also a good exercise for your dog, and s great for strengthening his back legs. As with any exercise, moderation is key. Start out slow, and gradually build up to where your dog is comfortable.
Step 1: Get down on your dog's level with your dog sitting in front of you. Step 2: Let your dog smell a treat and then slowly lift it up above him. Step 3: When she lifts her paws off the ground click and treat. Step 4: Each time her hindquarters are on the floor and her front paws are up, say "sit pretty" and click/treat. Step 5: Repeat four or five times each training session.
In the books, trainers say that this is one of the easiest tricks to teach your dog. Many dogs perform this trick naturally as soon as you lift a treat above their heads. Unfortunately, Caspian is not one of those lucky dogs. I had a hard time teaching him to sit pretty, but we persevered together, and finally we conquered it! Now, Caspian has no trouble with this trick and enjoys the performance.
He isn't strong enough to sit pretty! You can help support your dog at first by supporting his front paws so that he can gain strength. Only expect him to hold the position on his own for a second or two at first and gradually build up the endurance so that he can stay in position for several seconds.
Tip: "This is a great strength-training trick to teach your dog, because it builds up strength in your dog's hindquarters!"