Hands come to give, not take

What we want to teach our dog is that a human going near their bowl or chew is not a threat and to create positive associations. We do this by giving the dog treats when we are near the bowl or bone. Hands come to give not take.

Start with an empty dog bowl, put a hand near the bowl and put a nice treat in it for the dog to take.

Build up to giving the dog some kibble in the bowl and whilst they are eating it, put a nice treat in, so hand near bowl is not a threat

Lastly, work towards calling the dog away from the bowl and giving a much higher value treat (something REALLY tasty!)


Leave when asked: food manners

It’s important that if you have food, your dog doesn’t mither you and knows to leave you alone to eat it. We therefore teach food manners which means if you have food in your hand, or on a table/raised surface your dog is not to help themselves!

Hold low value ‘boring’ food like a piece of your dog’s normal food in a closed fist and show the dog you have it. They will probably mither a little and even paw and whine at the hand, you need to  ignore all of that!. The key is to mark (say good or yes or whatever word you use to give your dog feedback) and reward when your dog moves away or steps away from the hand and then reward.  Your dog will learn to back off from food in the hand: patience pays.

Once you have done this a few times, show the hand and add the command to ‘leave’; as your dog moves away ‘good’ and reward.

For progression- try more exciting foods, then build this up to an open hand of food and eventually a treat on the floor.