Making Food an Extension of Play

training tips Sep 20, 2022

Dogs chase prey - birds, rabbits, deer, etc. - it’s in their genetics. And yet, most owners want to squash this drive in their companion dog.

Instead of suppressing their instincts, tap into them during play time and extend that into the way you use food in training.

Instead of giving your dog treats and leaving a bowl of food available 24/7, pick up that bowl and make reward delivery a dynamic and fun experience for your dog.

Use it in the same way prey would move - move backwards, make them miss, allow them to jump up and catch food, throw in spins and encourage them to smash into your hand for the reward.

Squirrels are not going to jump into your dog’s mouth for them to capture if being chased… they are going to make a run for it; so use your food in the same way!

We use a clicker or verbal, “keen,” as our terminal food marker. This marker indicates that the dog did what we wanted and can come to us for a food reward (also known as a terminal marker).

That active, fun, chase-enabling food reward can vary from one piece, to a few, to a handful, to an entire jackpot of a full bowl or treat pouch.

Don’t underestimate the amount of fun that can be had by using food in a more active, rewarding way.


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