Puppy too grabby with hand feeding - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy too grabby with hand feeding

My 6 month old male GSD is very grabby when being hand fed during training with treats. I've tried a few different ways to give him the treats but he always grabs it out of my hand sometimes biting hard and it hurts. Any suggestions to help him develop a softer mouth?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 09:32 PM
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Mine used to scrape the treat off my fingers .. ouch. If he was rough, then the next treat he reached for I made my hand into a fist and didn't let him have it. Normally, they lick around trying to get it and I told him "easy" . Eventually he got it. Also, if he's excited, you can also toss the treat on the ground occasionally until he is a bit calmer. I do both. He's very gentle now but it took a while!

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 09:35 PM
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I have to admit, that I just put the treats on the ground since my Sting was the same way. He was so excited that he just grabbed. Now he will take a treat gently if I hold my hand flat. I haven't tried this, but I have read, to put a spoon in your hand over the treat hiding it - when the dog grabs he gets the spoon not the treat. If he doesn't grab - open up your hand and he can get the treat. There is another way in this article that doesn't use a spoon Teaching Your Dog to Take Treats Gently | The Bark Here is a video

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 10:03 PM
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Mine still does if you're not patient in giving it to him so I usually just hold my hand closed and pull away until he takes it nicely saying "easy" if he snaps. Other than that sometimes I'll put it on the ground or throw it in the air for him to catch. He was A LOT worse when he was younger.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 10:50 PM
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i taught my dog "don't snatch". with my dog sitting in
front of me i placed my left hand on his chest. i slowly
raised the treat to his mouth with my right hand. as i
neared his mouth i said "don't snatch". if he snatched
or pushed forward my left hand was holding him back.
when he pushed forward or tried to snatch i didn't
give him the treat. i repeated the exercise.

if my dog was leashed and i was going to treat him
i held by his collar while raising the treat to his mouth.
i held his collar and said "don't snatch" as i offered the treat.

i use to give him the smallest amount of a treat because
i wanted to repeat the training without over feeding.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 11:10 PM
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Here is a nice video showing the shell game.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 04:57 PM
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Harry was the same when he was younger, we taught him to 'take' gently by holding most of the treat in between our thumb and forefinger with just a little bit of treat sticking out, so that he couldn't quite get it all and used the word 'gentle'. If the bit too hard, then we gave him a 'arrrrrggggg' sound in a deep voice, which made him stop, gave the 'gentle' command again and if he took it gently and slowly, he got the treat, if he didn't kept repeating the above.

It took about 2 weeks of consistently doing this for him to always take gently.

if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for the suggestions! I will try these and maybe in time he will learn. I have found that putting my hand out flat works fairly well and I know patience is the key. Thanks again everyone.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Mary Beth, the video was very informative ....I will definitely try that technique.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 12:20 AM
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I teach using the word GENTLE. The dog should take it out of your open palm gently, so you start there, and when you offer the treat in the open palm, if he takes it gently, say GOOD GENTLE.

Start reminding him when he takes, GENTLE. Always tell him Good Gentle if he takes it nice.

When that is good, start putting a thumb over top of it and make it a little harder. Remind him GENTLE and praise with the word. Do not let him have the treat if he does not take it nice. After he is doing good with this.

Close the fist and only open it if he is licking and gentle. If he is being rough then, keep it closed, put it back in your pocket. But if he takes it gentle use your words.

Now make it even tougher, and remind him before you offer up your thumb and forefinger to his fangs. Gentle, then offer the treat between your thumb and forefinger. This seems to be the obvious way people offer treats -- especially strangers who will definitely hold it against the dog if the dog takes finger along with the treat. So it is definitely worth it to teach the dog to take it gently even when held precariously like this. The thing is, you will have built up to this.

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