Taking treats like a shark

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Toller_08, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    I'm not sure if this actually belongs in the training section or not, but I thought maybe. I am starting to work with Keira a lot more and I am really enjoying it. We are going to start taking some Rally or Obedience classes soon and then move onto more Agility once she's gotten used to a class setting and has more focus. But I have one minor but painful problem. She knows how to take treats nicely if it's just a cookie or something, but when we're training, she's awful! She's put holes in my fingers. And if I tell her to be nice before I give her a treat, it kind of defeats what I was trying to reward her for. Click/"be nice"/Treat just does not work and she learns nothing.

    She's just so excited to be working and eating that she totally forgets her manners for taking treats. Is there a way to fix this? Or just live with it? It makes it kind of unenjoyable for me when my fingers are bleeding and bruised, as you can imagine. And she won't work for toy rewards and toys don't mean anything to her usually.
     
  2. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    My GSD girl Jora was a piranha and I solved it by...tossing he treats ;)
     
  3. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Logan was like that when I first got him. I really don't know what changed other than him growing up and getting some manners.

    I did do a lot of treat zen, I think that may have been at least somewhat helpful.
     
  4. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Training wise working on leave it and being calm around treats and that kind of thing would help

    but some other quicker solutions maybe..

    Like this.. [​IMG]
    except teach her to accept treats straight from the dispenser instead of them coming from your hand?

    Or perhaps using peanut butter on a spoon?
    Throwing treats on the ground?

    Or even just spraying bitter apple on your fingers.. help bring the lesson of "open your mouth and treats go in= yummy. Hands in mouth=yuck" home
     
  5. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Food zen exercises would be my first thought.
     
  6. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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    Kiba is usually good, but when she's "high" she will turn RogueShark on me. I either toss them, or offer them to her in my open palm. I don't like throwing treats on the ground because I like to keep her focus on me versus sniffing around trying to score floor cookies.
     
  7. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    That's how Jora was too. She could do food zen and other sorts of "leave it" type exercises without an issue but she was always VERY excited to work and the more excited she got, the harder she took treats. I tried lots of stuff with her, none of it really worked and eventually I decided that it was just how she was and I didn't care that much. I did warn others who wanted to give her treats though!
     
  8. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys!

    What is food zen? I don't think I've done or heard of it before. Definitely interested. :)

    I've tried tossing them, which does work for a lot of exercises, but I have a hard time with tossing a treat while working on heel. I find it very awkward, but I'm trying to get the hang of it as it is a much better alternative than getting accidentally bitten.

    Peanut butter might work. Haven't done that.

    She does have a solid leave it and is ordinarily very nice with taking food, but she gets really amped up and enthusiastic when we're actually training. But working specifically on food exercises might just help with that... which I'm thinking is what this "food zen" is about.

    Throwing treats on the ground I don't think would be good in her case. She's so easily distracted as it is I think all her brain would do is go "omg there are cookies on the ground! Must get them! Where are they?!". She totally wouldn't care about my existence anymore, haha. Plus, I don't really like my dogs taking food off the ground.
     
  9. jenv101

    jenv101 Bite Club

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    I wear gloves lol. Or you can hold the treat with your thumb and the palm of your hand with your fingers together. (does that make sense? hard to describe) It does work but its harder to get it in place if you're working fast.
     
  10. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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    I also have a squeeze tube that I'll use for agility and you just squeeze out the wet food.
     
  11. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I'd teach her to take treats v-e-r-y gently as a completely separate exercise and attach a verbal cue to it. Spend time in the evening or something when you're not working on anything else. Hold a treat in your closed fist...a very smelly, tasty treat. Let her maul your hand as much as you can stand but don't open it until she only licks and is being gentle. Don't ever let her have a treat when she snaps for it. She's learned that works. Now she has to learn that doesn't work, but gentle mouthing or licking does. Gradually add in the training with taking treats so she generalizes the gentle mouth even in other contexts. Like when you're working on this as a separate exercise, do a sit or few steps of heeling, then back to taking the treat while she's not doing anything else. Then again, another skill that she can get rewarded for and practice while it's fresh in her mind.

    Also, when you do want to reward her when training, don't let her have it anyhow, even if she did the other thing right until she is gentle. Or if you want to avoid teaching her to take it gently, open your hand so your fingers aren't vulnerable....like you would with a horse and just feed her like that.

    Lyric was a barracuda about treats and it took a bit of time to get the message across, once he had been reinforced for being such a snapper.

    My son managed to teach Toker, his dog to take treats ridiculously gently. I mean, he can say, "eeeeeeezy" in a very exaggerated way and you can see her trying really hard to barely touch her teeth to your skin. She can go from pretty gentle to more gentle, to even more gentle as you stand there and say again, "eeeeeezy." It's really cute. She's such a clever dog.

    Anyhow, give it a try and see how she does.:)
     
  12. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    Yep. Macky has a HELL of a "leave it" and excellent food zen skills, but she was still dubbed "shark mouth" by the agility instructor today. LOL. If you tell her "take it nice" she slows the approach but still snaps it up. Oh well. I just toss her treats or risk my fingers!
     
  13. nikkiluvsu15

    nikkiluvsu15 Wild At Heart

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    I usually toss Harleigh's treats in the air for her to catch. She can be pretty shark-like when taking treats at times, mostly at agility, so it is a win-win for us :p
     
  14. misfitz

    misfitz Ruddy Buttinski

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    Treat zen, I agree! There's a great description on the Training Levels website:

    http://sue-eh.ca/page24/page26/styled/

    Scroll down about 2/3 of the way down the page and look for "Zen".

    It does make it harder to lure behaviors, though, since the dog learns that he gets the food by staying away from the food.
     
  15. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Yes, lots of Zen/It Yer Choice........the other thing I do with dogs like that is a bit opposite to your natural instinct but it works (so far :) )

    So we all know that dogs that get snappy or quick for a reward are often taught that, meaning they snap/grab etc and we instinctively jerk our hands away. So the dog especially in a excited state figures they have to be faster and therefore get worse at trying to get the reward before it goes away. Nasty cycle to get into and an easy one.

    What I do, is if they grab, I shove my hand into their mouth while holding the treat, delivering it very quickly, it works lol. Yes, we teach IYC first and don't use verbal 'leave it' 'easy' etc. But some dogs just don't get it. I have shoved my hand into very large mouths with some very large canines in there to mouths with those tiny needle sharp puppy teeth lol. Also you don't hold your hand in there, just shove towards the dog and into the mouth long enough to give the reward.
     
  16. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    I taught all my dogs to catch :p ;)

    Actually, I've done what ado does and just try to give them the treat as quickly as possible, as well as some Zen, and I tend to not hold treats between my thumb and forefinger anymore and instead give the treat to them like you would a horse, or I'll hold it between my middle and forefinger or middle and ring finger and palm it to them.
     
  17. Corey101

    Corey101 New Member

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    I would be afraid that they would associate the bitter apple spray to my hands all of the time. This may result in them thinking my hands were bad and they may not want to let me touch them. I don't know, just a thought.:confused:
    The dispenser was a good idea though.
     
  18. Corey101

    Corey101 New Member

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    Maybe no bitter apple

    I would be afraid that they would associate the bitter apple spray to my hands all of the time. This may result in them thinking my hands were bad and they may not want to let me touch them. I don't know, just a thought.:confused:
    The dispenser was a good idea though.
     

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