Treat time with multiple and single dogs can be a tough time! Chomping down too hard, nipping fingers, jumping on you! What a mess! We have some tips and tricks to get your fur kids calm, cool, and collected while being rewarded!
You should make sure that all fur kids are focused and calm, never reward when a dog is jumping or whining. If you have multiple dogs, always reward the calmest dog first. Any dog that is preforming a negative behaviour should not be treated until they are calm.
Ideally, the fur kid will be making eye contact with you (this is a tricky one) prior to being rewarded, what this dictates to the dog is that YOU are rewarding them and the treat isn’t just magically appearing out of thin air! By patiently waiting with the treat lowered away from your face, the dog will eventually look to you instead of holding focus on the treat itself.
If a treat falls to the floor, using a disagree word such as HEY or OFF in an assertive voice, the person should then move forward standing over the treat as to claim it. Fur kids should never jump forward to snag the treat before the owner can claim it. This is something you can practice doing as every dog makes mistake; practice makes perfect!
When giving the treat, using the dog’s name to move forward is helpful. It dictates who the treat is designated to and helps prevent other fur kids from snatching it from the specific dog.
The safest way to give a treat to a fur kid, particularly one you are not overly familiar with, is to put the treat between the thumb and forefinger while the hand is held in a loose fist OR between the forefinger and second finger with the hand still in a loose fist. The reason for doing this is to avoid having fingers accidentally bitten when the fur kid reaches for the treat. A dog’s jaw is quite deep and sometimes in the excitement of rewards, dogs misjudge the chomp.
When treat time is done, send the fur kid(s) off as to let them know that we are finished rewarding and no begging is acceptable afterwards!
Treat time should always be fun and relaxing, not hectic and upsetting! Set your rules, boundaries and limitations from the start and you and your fur kid will succeed!