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Old 03-10-2010, 06:02 PM
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Default Take it gently

How do you teach this? My dogs have always just sort of automatically done it. But my fingers nearly got amputated by a beagle at work the other day and I realized i have NO idea how to teach a dog that doesn't naturally take treats gently to NOT swallow half your hand.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:13 PM
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First of all, I never hand a dog a treat with the treat between my thumb and first finger. That's just asking to be bitten, scraped, scratched, pinched, etc.

Instead, I put the treat in my palm and hold it with my thumb, and hand the treat that way.... as if giving a treat to a horse. Very few dogs will bite your hand if you give the treat this way.

If you still have a greedy dog, what I do is hold the treat in my fist so they can't get to it, and hand it to them. If they bite at my hand, it stays closed. When they back away or lick my hand, I open it and give them the treat. It is very painful the first few times you do this, and you have to be extremely consistent and do it EVERY TIME, but eventually the dog will learn to be a little more patient and show some self control.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:23 PM
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I do that too. You can also use a bit of peanut butter to get them to lick instead of grab.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:51 AM
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I usually just throw it to Mu. If she's too excited she will bite my hand and she will bite hard. With Murphy though....his eye mouth coordination is not anywhere near as good as Mu's so I either throw it in his direction or reach toward him and if he snaps I pull back and then he's usually much gentler. I was actually thinking about asking this question for Murph!! Lol.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:04 PM
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Abbey tends to snap occasionally, although I usually remind her with the word, 'Nicely!' before handing her the treat. I guess I inadvertently taught her "nicely" when she snapped at my fingers the first time - I yelped and yanked my hand away, with the treat, and she didn't get the treat until she took it 'nicely' from my hand. She's a smart little dog, very food driven, and picked up on the word quickly.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:02 PM
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I do a combo of a couple of things already mentioned, first rule never pull you hand away. Treat is leaving and they get faster at trying to get it.

I first start by teaching them to lick with the peanut butter and also teach It's Yer Choice for self control.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snark View Post
Abbey tends to snap occasionally, although I usually remind her with the word, 'Nicely!' before handing her the treat.
I know that a lot of people do this, but I never really understood why. It would drive me crazy if I had to say "nicely" before every treat..... or before any treat for that matter. I'd much prefer to teach them to do it automatically, without a cue from me.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:41 PM
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Years ago a friend had a dog that was siberian husky, GSD mix. If you were giving him a treat you always had to say easy before giving the treat.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzybeth727 View Post
I know that a lot of people do this, but I never really understood why. It would drive me crazy if I had to say "nicely" before every treat..... or before any treat for that matter. I'd much prefer to teach them to do it automatically, without a cue from me.
I suppose I should clarify - I say it because she snaps occasionally - she is very food driven and sometimes gets a little anxious when I'm handing out the good stuff to the group, ie, I've recalled the dogs during our off-leash walks so I can put them all back on leash to walk home. Everyone gets a high-value treat and even though the boys have never tried to steal her treat, she'll make a grab for it. I don't have to say 'nicely' for a low value treat...
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzybeth727 View Post
I know that a lot of people do this, but I never really understood why. It would drive me crazy if I had to say "nicely" before every treat..... or before any treat for that matter. I'd much prefer to teach them to do it automatically, without a cue from me.
That, and the fact that anyone else giving your dog a treat would need to know which word you use (I know a lot of people use "gentle"). But hey I guess a dog that only takes it gently when given a command is better than a dog that never takes it gently!

I have this problem with Juno. I've never had to teach a dog to take things gently and even rescues I know who lack any sort of training at least know to take food gently. But Juno's a shark. Part of it is because no one else in my family is patient enough to wait for her to be gentle... and so there's no consistency... but urrrghhh it's just annoying that she needs to be taught it lol. I'm not used to that. What I do is just wait for her to lick at the treat instead of lunging for my hand, and I do this regardless of what she's getting the treat for. If I'm rewarding her for sitting, she doesn't get that reward until she can be nice about it...
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