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Kay Laurence | Learning About Dogs | Teaching your dog

Training with Food


first published August 2018
– clean training
Before we invite the dog to join our learning, we have to be sure:

~ we are clear what we are going to do

~ what we want the dog to learn

~ what outcomes we are expecting

~ how to make changes when our expectations are not happening, (this usually involves much coffee and head scratching rather than actual training)

~ we have practised our skills

Preparation wil gives both you and the dog every chance of success. The first learning is very important, it is so much more effective to get it right first time than try to go back and re-do.

Practise with the dog

Author: KL

You need:

Soft, moist, low to medium value food cut into small pieces (at least 20): cooked chicken, roast beef or cheese may be good choices. If this arouses your dog too much, use something he will eat without too much excitement. Examples may be frozen peas or pieces of apple. Use their kibble if nothing else works for your dog.

A quiet environment (no other dogs, people or other exciting things)

A food reserve bowl containing the chopped-up food ready for training

A table on which to place the food reserve bowl

5 minutes of uninterrupted time and full focus

Remember to reduce their subsequent dinners if they are likely to over-eat, or use their dinner for delivery practise.


From a Bowl:

Place food on the table within your (not the dog’s!) reach

Turn and face your dog, signalling that you are ready to engage. Remain relaxed

Take a piece of food with one hand, pass it into the other hand and place it directly in front of the dog’s muzzle leaving enough room for him to reach for it slightly

Deliver the food with an open, softly cupped relaxed hand

Once the dog has finished eating, repeat

Deliver half of the food from your right hand and half from your left hand

Practice at different times and in a variety of places.

From your hand

When your dog is remaining in place and taking food without jumping, biting or snatching:

Hold 10 pieces of food in your non-feeding hand. Keep your arm relaxed and by your side

Take a piece of food from the reserve hand with the feeding hand

Deliver to your dog as previously, practice with both hands

Practice at different times and in a variety of places.

Remember to include some empty hands for the “Love That Face” enjoyment, not every hand should be giving food. Repeat these steps with anything you use to hold your training food reserve such as a pouch, vest or jacket. Keep your skills sharp by practicing delivery from a variety of reserves. your dog will certainly be an enthusiastic training friend!

Connect and Share

sounds like a biscuit …….


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