Fingers Not Food!

by DFS-Pet-Blog on April 20, 2011

Puppy Training Class **Guest post from Michele B.**

Georgia is my family’s new puppy that we saved from the local animal shelter.  (Read my previous post about Georgia and our family.) The vet thinks she is approximately 7-8 months old. He said that’s the perfect age for training. I signed us up right away for a dog obedience class.

Tasty Snacks® Chewy Dog Treats

Tasty Snacks® Chewy Dog Treats

We only needed a few supplies for training class: a collar (non-choke style), name plate, 6’ lead, and of course lots of soft treats for rewards.  I chose the Beef and Cheese Rolls and Georgia is quick to listen when she knows she will receive one of these tasty treats! In her first class, she learned how to sit, lay, sit, and stand which the trainer calls a puppy push-up!

One other great part of training class is getting Georgia to socialize with other dogs and their owners. We met puppies in many different sizes from a Chihuahua to an Airedale Terrier. The Chihuahua, Rambo, thinks he’s the biggest dog in the room!

TIP For Training Dogs or Puppies:
We are still working on teaching Georgia to take treats gently. She seems to want to bite them out of my hand and take my fingers with her! I discovered a glove saves my fingers while she learns to take the treats more softly. We are both learning new things!

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Rosemary April 20, 2011 at 8:41 am

My tip for the treats is to cut them into smaller pieces. When they are first learning a behavior, you will be giving lots of treats, but too many are not good for them. If they are in little tiny pieces, you can give lots of them, but not put the diet out of balance. For instance, I would cut the little pigs in blanket treats you are using into fourths, and put the cut-up ones into a seperate container. Then I can grab a handful, and give out 20 rewards, but only use 5 actual treats.

My old Doberman mix, Gin, could not be trusted to take a small treat from your hand. We had to toss it to her, because she would take your fingers with it. She could catch the treats in mid-air, which always amazed me, because she only had one eye. She lost her right eye as a puppy due to an injury, but it never slowed her down.

As for the Chihuahua, that seems to be typical. People are so scared of Pits or Rotties, but think a barking, growling, overly dominant Chihuahua is cute. I’d rather have the well mannerd Pit, myself.

Michele B. April 25, 2011 at 9:51 am

You are absolutely right about giving a lot of treats while training, Rosemary. I did exactly what you said and the Beef and Cheese Rolls cut easily into many little slices. With the tiny treats, the glove helps protect me even more! Georgia is getting better at taking treats more gently but still needs some training. Maybe I should try throwing the treats, because Georgia does catch fairly well with a ball. Thank you for the tips!

Jane July 27, 2011 at 12:43 am

Thank you for these helpful tips! I have been using fruits, biscuits, and small pieces of cheese as treats and my pups seem to like them!

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