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Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
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Re: Teaching a dog to refuse food offered by stran

I agree with Maedchen. This is the way we have always taught this.
One of the interesting things about dog training and the way dog's think is that with many things it is easier to teach them NOT to do something by first teaching them when they CAN do it. Hence the cue to take food. Dog learns that without the cue, there's no taking of food.

When we take our dogs to the pet stores the cashier at the check out register always offers them cookies. The dogs will first look to us for permission, and when we give it, then and only then will they take the treat. The cashiers are always amazed and think it's cool, but it really wasn't difficult at all to teach the dogs by using a simple "take it" cue.

Now, teaching a dog not to take food from strangers when you're not around is something completely different altogether. Even if trained properly to a cue, the dog isn't likely going to globalize that behavior. They'll wait for the cue when you're there, but if you're not there they are probably going to go ahead and take it.
 
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