How Do I Administer A Treat?

By admin Posted in FAQ's /

Q: How do I administer the food/treat?

A: When we start to train our dogs we firstly need to train them to pay attention to us. If the dog does not pay attention to you, you cannot train it anything. When a dog is on a leash and is called, it is expected to look at the trainer.
Teaching the dog to accept food, preferably from the mouth or near the mouth, means that you will have the dog’s undivided attention and he will be looking into your face. All new dogs must go through a period of attention getting exercises. The method depends on the breed and age of the dog, but it is ideal for puppy training.

For puppies we start by sitting on the ground with legs spread out to make it easy for the pup to reach the face and the food. After a while we move from sitting to a kneeling position. We want the dog to realise that there is a food reward for looking into the handler’s face and that the treat comes from or near the face.

Our aim here is for the dog to have confidence when it looks into the handler’s face. Finally the handler goes into a standing position with the dog between his slightly bended knees to still make it easy for the dog to get close to his face. Now it is important to give lots of enthusiasm and praise so that the dog can feel comfortable in the front position and be able to relax when it looks into the handler’s face. Make your voice interesting to the dog, usually with a higher pitched voice. At this stage I do not mind if my dog jumps up against me in an attempt to get neat my face. Jumping up can easily be eliminated at a later stage.

For pups and young dogs a nylon collar works best. No choke chain or training collar for them. Older dogs require a pop on the leash to come to the front position, food is given from the mouth or near the face and this is followed by an immediate release,” Free” or “Take a break”. Many similar repeats may be necessary for the older dog to get used to the new way of getting his attention. They will be looking at your hands because that is where food used to come from, so you could start feeding them waist high and gradually lift the hands closer to the face.

The secret of not getting bitten when feeding the dog is to push the treat into the dog’s mouth so that he has no reason to snap. It is when you hesitate or pull away that the dog snaps at the food.

Once the dog gets into the habit of looking into your face, gradually increase the time he is looking at your face by giving the food after 5-10-15 seconds delay. Another method is to hold a Vienna sausage between your finger tips in front of your face and let the dog nibble tiny pieces at a time, so forcing him to look at your face for longer periods from the front sitting position.

Dropping food from your mouth or holding it between your lips so that the dog can see it before you drop it focuses his attention to your face.

Start each day and every training session with the treat/food attention getting exercises. A tennis ball under the chin can gradually replace the food.

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