Nipping when treating?! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Nipping when treating?!

So I've started hand feeding Rainer his food throughout the day, asking him for some kind of "trick" or OB command for each handful. We're also working on his recall. He has been blowing me off outside of the house around his doggy friends as playing with them is of higher value than me. I'm hoping by hand feeding and working simple obedience throughout the day, the focus will translate outside as well.

We just started in the house, but he's already better at recalling from lunging at the cats when they run past the window. He's pretty good at generalizing (i.e. whatever I teach him in the house, he performs outside as well without having to re-teach the trick in a new environment).

Anyway...after that long ramble, lol. My problem is that I'm doing this using his kibble which is really small...I give him 5-6 kibbles per each "handful." He gets really excited while we're working (which is awesome!), but when he takes the kibble he nibbles and gets the pads of my hands (which is not awesome!).

Has anyone had this problem and what did you do to fix it?

He knows gentle, but I want him to be excited for his rewards - we had problems with food drive when he was younger, but he's a lot better now. He'll be 2 in November if that is of any relevance.



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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 07:45 PM
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You close your fist and tell him to wait. Once he backs off your hand, you open your hand and tell him to take it. If he is to rough, you close the hand again and start over. He will learn self control and how to be gentle. He can't have the food in your hand until he takes it how you want him to take it.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 04:02 PM
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We always tell our pup to be easy and if he snaps at the treat we will close our fist and not let him have it. Keep in mind they are puppies so they get excited very easily. It generally works for us though usually we only have to close our fist once and he learns.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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He's good at easy when he's not excited and I WANT him excited since I'm trying to get more enthusiasm out of him when he works. He shuts down if it's not super fun or if he feels like I am disappointed in him.

I guess my issue is that I feel like if I tell him "yes!" and go to give him the treat, but then shut him down when he nibbles too enthusiastically, he won't have the same enthusiasm the next time. Does that make sense? I feel like he would lose "trust" in me to perform a behavior ... Not sure if I phrased what is in my mind correctly.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 04:22 PM
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theres a dog in our class that does what your dog does. My trainer said if he bites while taking the treat, to take the hand and push it toward his mouth, firmly.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 05:05 PM
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Work on impulse control separately, as it's own exercise, not as part of regular OB.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 05:07 PM
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Here's the video that taught me how.

https://leerburg.com/flix/videodesc.php?id=59

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 05:19 PM
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Kaiser is 9 months old now and is just now getting 'easy' and not removing my fingers when I give a treat. If he snaps at the treat I won't let it go and make him do it right before I'll let him take it.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 09:47 AM
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My pup used to scrape (ow) treats from my finger tips by closing his mouth over the treat AND my hand and then scraping it off. Now at 6 months he's much more gentle and I can hand him small items (like half his rimadyl when he was on them) and he would take the very tip so he didn't touch my hand. SO much better than before when every treat I gave was accompanied by an "Ow."

I used 'easy' and the closed fist method. Teaching impulse control is very important. He would practically knocked the bowl out of your hand at meal time and when putting out fresh water. Teaching him to sit and wait until release meant he calmed down when taking treats as well.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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We've been working on impulse control since he was 10 weeks old... He has excellent impulse control now ... examples: I can hold an open palm of food/treats under his nose and he will stare at me until I say OK or YES, I can put him in a sit/stand/down-stay and twitch his flirt pole around and he will give me eye contact until I release him to chase it (his most absolute favoritest thing ever), waits for his food and water with eye contact + doing obedience until released, etc

The problem comes with the release, lol. He rockets into my hand and tries to snap up the food. With treats, he is generally OK because I can hold them better, but we've been working with his food (hand feeding/making him work for all his meals to build engagement - he blows me off outside since the world is more exciting than me). The pellets are small and I have to cup them into my hand - I give maybe around 5-7 at a time. When he tries to snap them out he nips the pad of my palm by my thumb

He's good with easy when feeding him egg shells, bones, raw meat, etc...anything I can hand him that he loves. If I have to palm it to him...oooouch! I've tried telling him easy when he goes to take the food out of my hand, but it's hard to close my hand back up when his whole muzzle is smooched into my palm.


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Last edited by Rainer; 10-04-2013 at 10:05 AM.
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