How to teach a puppy to take a treat gently? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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How to teach a puppy to take a treat gently?

My roommate and I have been treat-training our boy and we find that although he's listening to us for the most part, when we give him the treat he's a little too eager to take the treat from our hand and we find that it really starts to hurt our fingers Is there a way to teach him to take the treat a little more gently?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 02:25 AM
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 02:43 AM
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Don't proffer your fingers! Present a treat out of your open palm. Also, confuse him: close your palm with the treat right before he is ready to grab the bit. After 4-5 closed palm refusals give him a command "Take it!" first, then the treat. Do it in a standing upright posture, bending your hand and bringing your fist with the treat to your chest when you refuse. Stand still if he jumps, show him that it doesn't work. His second attempt should already be slower in motion. Bit by bit you will teach him to take his treat on command only, then exercise him to start eating his meals on command. Never give him treats for nothing (just for the sake of it), he musn't mistake it for feeding, always ask him to perform, do something on command - "Voice!", "Sit!", "Down!", etc. He would feel he had deserved it.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 04:16 AM
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with my pup standing or sitting i use to place my left
hand on his chest. i raised the treat with my right hand
slowly and sometimes quickly. i held my dog back with
my left hand on his chest. as i raised the treat and came
closer to his mouth i said "don't snatch".
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 05:15 AM
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I held the treat in my palm and really enforced the word "nicely", if he went to grab at it i moved my hand away and said "NO" in a stern voice. Only when he went to take the treat nicely would i keep my hand there and let him take it and would praise him.
Now i can give him treats using my fingers and say "nicely" and he is very very gentle
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 08:56 AM
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I will present the food in my fist and tell them "gentle". When they quit trying to abuse my hand then I will present the piece of food. It isn't unusual for them to get a bit rough and pushy when doing obedience so you will have to reinforce this fairly often.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 12:42 AM
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Showing our dog has given me some insight on this. What I do is I hold the treat with my fist and anytime his teeth so much as touch my flesh I state "ow!" At first it really was "OW!" Along with some cusswords which aren't family friendly. After saying Ow I state "take it gently" and if he snaps I yelp.

Our boy is sensitive and will then refuse to take the treat you have to entice him to want it again. But after that I repeat "take it gently" "OW!" Until he literally lick/lips it out of my hand.

We also were suggested using a spoon. Apparently dogs hate the taste of metal and when he nips at the spoon well its not great. Sadly my dog loves spoons and actually stole it from my hand. So we just yelp at him. Weirdo.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 12:52 AM
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I offer with my open palm at first, and use the word GENTLE before and then GOOD GENTLE after they take it nicely. Then I make it tougher, I will close some fingers on it, and still tell him Gentle to remind him. When he is doing that well, I will then start subjecting only my fingers to the anxious jaws of the treat crazy canine. But I remind with the word Gentle and they get it. I always praise with a good gentle.

Eventually, I praise intermittently and will stop reminding. But if they get too eager, I then use my hurt voice and the gentle word to let the guilty party know they still need to be careful. So far I still have all my digits so it must be working.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-28-2013, 01:08 AM
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I placed the treat in a closed palm and let him sniff it. Then open my palm and he took it gently. It's hard to explain.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trcy View Post
I placed the treat in a closed palm and let him sniff it. Then open my palm and he took it gently. It's hard to explain.
Remember when you would draw eyes and mouth on your index finger and thumb (hand puppets) I had the treat in a closed fist and I would open the "mouth" while saying GENTLE and the dog would push his nose up and try and lick the treat out. While he is licking and not nipping/biting say GENTLE or GOOD GENTLE then open your hand and give him the treat or tip it to the front so be can get it...

This method also worked when we were wrestling if he went to go a little rough I would call GENTLE and he stopped the action of biting me and started to lick me.
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