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Old 04-06-2012, 06:44 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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I'd teach her to take treats v-e-r-y gently as a completely separate exercise and attach a verbal cue to it. Spend time in the evening or something when you're not working on anything else. Hold a treat in your closed fist...a very smelly, tasty treat. Let her maul your hand as much as you can stand but don't open it until she only licks and is being gentle. Don't ever let her have a treat when she snaps for it. She's learned that works. Now she has to learn that doesn't work, but gentle mouthing or licking does. Gradually add in the training with taking treats so she generalizes the gentle mouth even in other contexts. Like when you're working on this as a separate exercise, do a sit or few steps of heeling, then back to taking the treat while she's not doing anything else. Then again, another skill that she can get rewarded for and practice while it's fresh in her mind.

Also, when you do want to reward her when training, don't let her have it anyhow, even if she did the other thing right until she is gentle. Or if you want to avoid teaching her to take it gently, open your hand so your fingers aren't vulnerable....like you would with a horse and just feed her like that.

Lyric was a barracuda about treats and it took a bit of time to get the message across, once he had been reinforced for being such a snapper.

My son managed to teach Toker, his dog to take treats ridiculously gently. I mean, he can say, "eeeeeeezy" in a very exaggerated way and you can see her trying really hard to barely touch her teeth to your skin. She can go from pretty gentle to more gentle, to even more gentle as you stand there and say again, "eeeeeezy." It's really cute. She's such a clever dog.

Anyhow, give it a try and see how she does.
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