Even if your dog likes treats, the way you give them treats is critical to your rewarding success. Do you still belong to the sliders or does your dog like to take the treat from you? Sonja Meiburg shows you what to look out for.
Saturday afternoon, 2 p.m., dog training area.
Ms. A. from L. pulls a piece of cheese out of her jacket pocket to reward her Dachshund Leopold for sitting nicely while the trainer came to say “Hello”.
But then the misfortune happens: Ms. A. takes the cheese and pushes it into Leopold’s teeth with full force. Leopold can open his mouth at the last moment. Then he jumps backwards so as not to be impaled on Ms. A’s intrusive gut fingers on the soft palate.
“No, it does not work out this way. The treat is only available when you are sitting, ”says Mrs. A. and pulls her fingers and pieces of cheese out of Leopold’s mouth again. He is truly relieved and vows never to “sit” again so that this unpleasant procedure does not happen to him again.
Treats slide into the training knee
You can see treats every day. You can recognize them by the fact that their dogs look skeptical as soon as their hand goes to the bag. And as soon as the hand with the treat comes, the four-legged friends are already on the go with this “Och nööööö” face, so that they can dodge if necessary so as not to suffer any major injuries from careless pushing.
Do you think that’s an exaggeration? Then pay attention to the faces of the affected dogs …
If you want to reward your dog with food for good behavior, it is important not only what he gets as a reward, but also how you give him the reward. If your dog really likes cheese, but the push-in procedure ranks somewhere between claw-cutting and undigested-blades-of-the-butt-pulling on the pleasant scale, it is no wonder if he behaves the way that the procedure does contributes (i.e. everything that you actually want to reward for great behavior) is avoided in the long run. You shoot yourself in the training knee without realizing it.
So make sure that if you want to put a treat in your dog’s mouth, offer it to him, but don’t push it in.
Here’s how it works:
- Hold your hand with the Guttie a few centimeters in front of the dog’s mouth.
- Keep your hand very still and wait for your dog to come close to the hand and take the treat out of your fingers with its teeth or tongue.
- Do you have a snapping turtle where your fingers regularly become part of the meal? Then place the guttie on the palm of your hand as if you were feeding a horse. With this type of treat, make sure
- that your hand is a few centimeters in front of the dog’s mouth and that your dog is moving towards your hand and not your hand is pushing the guttie into the dog’s mouth.
- If you find it difficult to keep the pushing, you can help yourself with a little trick: Whenever you want to reward your dog, you hold the guttie between your fingers and put the back of your hand on a resistance, for example on your leg. The hand stays there and does not move until your dog eats the guttie.
Of course, you can also throw, roll or hide your treats and make a food reward really interesting.
But if you’re already choosing a food reward from your hand, make sure your dog really does feel like they’re being rewarded.
Then it also works with the “seat” when the trainer says “Hello”.