Here is a good tip to help change your dog’s behavior if it gets a little too grabby about getting treats from your hand. Remember The DogSmith® way is to teach your dog an alternative or if possible an incompatible behavior. Some times by saying ‘ouch’ or just pulling your hand back your dog can become frustrated. When dogs become frustrated they can get pushier to acquire their goal. Teach your dog that if it approaches the situation in a different way it will get the treat.
1. Break a nice treat into small pieces and place one piece between your fingers so the dog can smell the treat but there is nothing to grab.
2. Let your fingers curl up so that the treat is hidden between your fingers and your palm
3. When your dog sniffs at your palm with its nose and starts to move the nose around looking for the treat he should begin licking at the hand
4. Let his licking and sniffing gently unroll the hand until he can access the treat.
5. Teach your dog that to get the treat he needs to gently investigate the hand and not grab it or make contact with the teeth
6. Don’t allow pushy or gobbling behavior, your dog will learn what works and what does not, to access the treat.
This is an exercise I am always reminded of when the weather gets cold. Some pushy or gobbling dogs that sit on the threshold of what I consider an acceptable way to take treats may get away with it in the warm weather. BUT in very cold weather when you, the trainer, have cold hands and a big nose and a set of teeth make a tiny amount of contact with your frozen fingers it can be very painful!
You can also try the 'take it' and 'leave it' DogSmith MTR e-card, this can also work well with food treats. Download a FREE copy from our home page on The DogSmith website