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Kay Laurence | Learning About Dogs | Before you start

Training with Food


first published August 2018


Many experienced dog training will advise you to invest in your practise time, preparing without the dog is one of the best investments of your time.

Practise time is the chance to go through it slowly, be sure you have everything ready and in place. You can repeat, change, adapt, be sure what you are doing and gain confidence.

Once your dog or pup is in the picture they will have plenty to say about what you are doing and offer lots of advice – such as hurry up! Feed me now!

Practise first without the dog


You need:

~ A small bowl of something treat sized to practice with. It can be dried beans, coins, Lego blocks or the dog’s food

~ 1 sticky note

~ A vertical surface (wall, door or cupboard)

~ A table within reaching distance on which to place the bowl of practise food

5 minutes of uninterrupted time without your dog (put him in another room)


Determine your dog’s muzzle height when the head is held comfortably level

Attach a sticky note to a flat vertical surface at that height

Put your bowl of practice “food” on a table beside you

Take a bean from the bowl with one hand, pass it into the other and move the feeding hand to directly in front of the sticky note. Do not touch the sticky note. Hold the bean in a softly cupped relaxed hand

Do 10 repetitions with each hand.

If you have a small dog, bend your knees!

Repeat until you can find the correct placement consistently and without conscious effort

Love that face!

Include plenty of time to give your dog a chance to see an open hand as an opportunity to sniff, or have a quick brush of their muzzle.

We want to teach the dogs, especially puppies that hands are something to seek information from, approach without anxiety and on many occasions enjoy affection.


Connect and Share

sounds like a biscuit …….


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