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Training: Feeding time etiquette

October 30, 2018

Training: Feeding time etiquette

The top thing I am happy to say I have trained Rundle on is how not to dig right into his food bowl before I even set it down. I have had dogs before and know many who have never been able to do this. 
I taught him this command when he was about 4 months old. Before this it was a huge problem. Rundle was known in his litter for eating the most and finishing all the other puppies food before they were even close to finished. Needless to say he loved his food and every time I would go to feed him he would start jumping because he was excited and would occasionally knock the food right out of my hand. 
So when I went to puppy class and they said they were going to teach us how to train for a release command I was more than happy!
Here are my tips on how to do this so that it can make your life a little bit easier if you have the same problem. Also I don’t believe the quote you can’t teach an old dog new tricks because Zephyr has also been taught how to do this too! All it takes is consistency and practice! 
 
Before you go to feed your rescue dogs victoria, put on his leash so that you have better control over his movement. Its harder to hold two things at once so I would put the leash under your foot so that you have your hands free. When you are going to feed your dog, obviously put the food in the bowl, but before you put it down place yourself in between your dog and where you are going to put the bowl. Your dog should be in a sit position and looking at you. 
When going to set it down you are not going to place it in front of you like normal, you are going to place it behind you. As soon as your dogs butt moves off the floor simply bring the bowl back up to you. Once you get past your knee though place the bowl completely down. If your rescue dogs bc tries to go for the food block their path so they can’t have access to it, keep stepping in front of them until they do a sit (don’t ask for one though). Once they are calm and you can release them to their dish with a "go ahead" or "release" cue. 
This works best if you don’t give them all their food but give them it in pieces so you are able to train it multiple times. The more practice the sooner they will catch on. It took Rundle about a week to learn how to do this. 
To progress this you can start stepping further away from the bowl before you give them the command to “go ahead” or “release”, right now I can step away about 10 paces and count to 8 once I get there before Rundle will go for his food. My progression after this will be to be able to tell him from another room. 
Personally I think this is a great skill to have for your dog, it teaches patients and also makes them realize they need to listen to what they are being told before the are rewarded. 
*Note: If you have a dog with food aggression seek help from a qualified dog trainer!