I have two dogs and of course they beg for food when I am eating. So I decided that I would like them to lay down while I eat. I already taught them some basic commands such as “sit,” and “down,” but with “down” I added the point of my finger towards the ground.  The first couple of times of teaching this, I did not enjoy my meal, which was okay.  I pointed and said the word “down” in a firm voice.  When they did it right they got “something” even if it was a small dog treat. I did this a couple of times.  The next time I sat down to eat, I did this less frequently, until not at all.  Now, all I have to do is point to the ground to remind them of their manners. They remain down while I eat and I only give them something at the end of my meal.  You see, I am the Alpha, the Master, the Boss, and I eat first.