Eating on command - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Eating on command

I am wondering how to train my 4.5 old gsd pup to eat only from his bowl and on command. If food is lying on the ground he may sniff it but should not start eating it.

Is it possible to achieve this goal?

I have taught him the command "wait" while food is being served. Now with little hesitation he waits in his crate when the food is placed in front of him, and eats only on command.

But outside he forgets this displine, and I have to correct him every time.

Any suggestion is welcome


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 12:49 AM
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you can teach the "leave it" command. You-tube has a lot of good tutorial videos.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 01:01 AM
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I believe it is very possible. Make sure you have a clear cue word ( proofed in another training exercise) , a release word and that you start slow and build up the time he must wait. Additionally, most people only reward the final behavior which IMHO can be confusing to the dog ,so instead maybe have a portion of his food in your hand and dole it out to him every 1/2 second ( in the beginning, longer durations between rewards as it goes on) as he obeys your command, this will show you are fair in your leadership and good things happen DURING good behavior and not just went you tell him its over. Hope that helps, good luck (:
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all.

I believe "Leave it" tells the dog to disengage or drop what ever he is holding in is mouth.

I want to teach the dog to avoid mouthing food articles lying out side his food bowl.

So the question is how to convince the dog that not picking up the food items outside his bowl is a rewarding exercise?

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 08:56 AM
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put the dog in a down stay. place a treat on the floor while saying "leave it". dog only gets treat after keeping the stay, looking at you and you say "OK". you can say "look at me" or use their name to make them look at you. if they don't know their name yet i would use their name.

i'm unsure though if you want to teach not to take your food off the table or counter. if that is the case just say no. if they don't listen in the cage they go. 10 minutes or if it's a brand new puppy they will bark. in that scenario they stay in the cage 'till they calm down.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Rewarding for leaving food

Thanks a lot for the suggestion.

I am actually doing a similar exercise with the dog in sit and stay position.

I place the empty bowl. Put the dry food/treat on ground. Give "wait" command

Then reward the down if he makes no attempt to snatch food.

Place the food in the bowl. Wait for a few more seconds, making eye contact, praise him, and the "ok eat".

My Duke has figured out the game and waits (with a few initial hesitations" for command.

Now I am trying more advanced version of this game.

Objective: I want to teach him not to scavamge from kitchen dustbin or leave food on the ground even when he is on the move.

I do the following.

1. Place his empty food bowl in a corner of the room.

2. Place the kitchen waste bucket in another corner, and lay some food items on the floor

3. Call duke in the room, and allow him to roam free. As soon as he goes near those things say "no leave it". Praise and reward him as soon as he moves away.

4. After a few attempts he shows lack of interest in those items, and looks at me. That very moment say "yes" place treats in his bowl and ask him to eat.

5. After a few repetitions of 1-4, have in sit and stay with food and kitchen waste on the floor. Reward him every time he looks away from them and makes eye contact.

Finally free him and serve him a full meal.

The method seems to be working, although too early to prescribe it for others.

Suggestions and comments on this process is well come.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 01:35 PM
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I taught Raina to sit, let me put the food bowl in front of her on the ground, and then wait. I can talk to her and use any other words but she will not eat until she hears "okay". I make it a habit to alternate the length of the waiting time so she can't guess. When I was training her if she started to eat too soon, I picked up the dish and said "No." If you practice this as I have since she was a pup it will work for you too. Where there is something she cannot have I use "Leave it" and she knows she can't have it. I never gave her the thing that I made her leave when training so that she would not expect to get the thing just in case the thing was a scorpion or snake but I did reward her with really high value treats and praise. I also use "oust" for her to drop something from her mouth. This came in really handy yesterday when she caught a 4' green iguana. She had it in her mouth and was shaking her head having a good time. I grabbed her collar and yelled oust and she dropped that iguana on the first command. I was so proud that she responded so quickly knowing that all this summer she has been dying to catch an iguana which are really plentiful around here. She lies by the fence and watches them walk on the dock and climb the trees. I think it fascinates her to watch them.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 01:37 PM
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Leave it is actually used to avoid items, BEFORE he has engaged with them. If he's already engaged, it would be "drop it"...

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