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the Dog Blog

How to Train Your Dog to Take Treats Gently

A woman teaching her dog how to gently take a Bil-Jac dog treat.

We all know a great tasting dog treat can be hard for our dogs to resist! Sometimes, our furry friend is so excited about getting a treat that she may try to take more than the treat. Some dogs mistakenly bite our fingers when treats are involved. Here are a few ways pet parents can avoid the alligator chomps when using dog treats to reward their dog for best behavior.

How to Train Your Dog to Take Treats Gently

Taking treats without nipping is not a skill dogs may initially understand. Some pups are naturally gentler with their mouths, while others need a few lessons to achieve this skill. To accomplish a more delicate behavior from your best friend, try teaching the cue "gentle" when she takes the treat.

Follow these steps to teach your best friend to know what "gentle" means:

Step 1: Choose your dog treat

It's important to choose a treat your dog will enjoy, such as Bil-Jac dog treats, to ensure she is ready to learn the "gentle" skill. As a general rule of thumb, save her favorite treats for the end of the training session to keep her interested and avoid becoming disenchanted during the middle of the behavior training.

Step 2: Present the dog treat

Some dogs may nip your hand if you keep the treat between your thumb and forefinger. Instead, hold a Bil-Jac training treat in the open palm of your hand and offer it to your dog. This will help prevent her from biting your fingers.

Step 3: See how your dog takes the treat

If your dog begins to chomp as she grabs for the treat, pull the treat away. It's important to only give treats to your dog if she follows the "gentle" cue. Likewise, commit to taking the treat away altogether if poor behavior persists.

Step 4: Give your dog the treat

When she stops nipping and approaches to lick your hand (or even gives a very gentle nibble), say "gentle" and hand her the treat as her reward.

Step 5: Repeat the process

Dogs learn by continuous stimulation, so continue to say "gentle" each time you offer her a treat to begin the association with the word and the behavior. If she has a relapse and returns to her former chomping ways, pull your hand away and then offer the treat again, using the cue "gentle" throughout to reinforce the good behavior.

Consistent, positive, reward-based training works well for maintaining calm and getting your puppy through her teenage months. You want to be your puppy's center of attention as well as the person she wants to please and look to for love and satisfaction.

Treat Your Dog

Everyone deserves a treat once in a while, especially your good boy or girl! Want to learn more about how you can help your dog? Join our Best Friends Club today. Each month, you’ll receive special training tips, informative articles, and members-only discounts on Bil-Jac products, so you can continue to treat your dog in all kinds of ways!

 

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