Find Me For Food!
a fun excercise for dog and human!
Find me for food sets up the basic command post of the owner/hander, beginning recall training, and patience!
And all this in one simple exercise.
This is a great way for a newly adoptive puppy or dog to find his way into the pack and to bond with his or her new family.
Doggy on leash (if new dog-graduate to no leash)
Yummy soft small treat tid bits (cut up hot dogs do great, something different then usual treats)
Let’s give this example in a living room,
All people are sitting on chairs/couches thru out the room. Dog is on leash long enough to reach all people or just drop the leash and step on it if need be. We begin on leash so the dog does not “jump” on people. Correct by the leash and ignore the behavior (negative attention is still attention..let the leash do the correction, you can say one command “off” and that’s it.)
Load each person with a handful of yummy soft treats (soft less time to chew) , bring the dog in leashed, and have a person call dog to them
“Bowser- come!” when doggy comes over, he must be calm and if he know SIT tell him to “sit” then he gets treat.
Next person !
“Bowser – come!” doggy will be happy to run over to next person, patience! patience! When dog is calm all feet on floor or in a “sit!” pop in another treat!
You see how this goes now.
Each person around the room continues to call doggy to him, and inserts a treat.
You only give the treat when the dog is either in a SIT or at least "four on the floor" (all paws down!)
This is teaching a lot! As I said, patience (must wait for treat! ) NILF ("nothing in life is free- must sit or be calm to get treat), Come (recall very important with dogs!), and also installs that these new humans are all “food dispensers” and also (big also!) "LEADERS” over the dog. All taught in a happy positive yummy way.
This same exercise is easily done with one person by doing a box step..
Slide one step over “come” - ..insert treat when dog sits,
Slide one step back “come” etc.
* NOTE- in a new dog (in the two week process or a dog you don’t know) DO NOT STEP INTO THE DOG. This is an alphalike move, and dogs who don’t know you yet will see this as a slight challenge. We must establish ourselves first with the dog, then we have the right to step into the dog, he should stay sitting or scoot back , even if you bump him/her. If the dog jumps/ pushes , chomps, attempts to snap the food out of your hand he is telling you “you are NOT the king of me ”!
Then as you imagine we keep reinforcing our NILF and working with the dog. Many new dogs challenge this at first . So we must be fair and teach the dog where he belongs to avoid conflict in a fun exercise such as “Find me for Food!”
Dogs that gobble food, or are slightly food aggressive you can do this exercise with their dinner kibble/food. If they get snappy, pushy, etc.. just calmly take the dog and put him away, without any further food for the moment. Let him think and realize why he went back to his crate hungry. We don’t have to “correct” yell or do anything, they challenged the hand that is feeding them? ..well then , skip dinner for awhile. Most if not all dogs I have worked with quickly realize that its no fun to miss dinner and humble up .
*disclaimer – I would not withhold dinner from a sick dog or seriously underweight dog, most of our dogs are healthy enough to miss a dinner, or at least wait a bit before getting it. Never give in and hand the dog the dish of food though. At least make them wait a bit.
If a dog is overweight we can eliminate the treats from this exercise and use only their kibble /dinner food.
Do not give a free dinner to your dog and then expect to be receptive to this game, this of course wont have nearly the effect if your dogs tummy is full from dinner. :0 )
This is a great exercise for kids, for it teaches the kids and dogs that jumping is a no no or allowing the jumping as well as teaching the dog that kids are leaders and not to be jumped on for treats!
For small kids, have an adult sit behind them, wrap their arms around the kid to support the arm and close the hand if the dog gets pushy.
Also a GREAT way to introduce friends and visiting family. Bring the dog out after all are seated , load everyone with some treats and then go get the dog. Again we are installing no jumping, patience and the dog gets yummy treats, what is better?
As you advance in this game, and the dog is sitting, being patient, you can go a step further and begin the “leave it” command, and make the dog wait a second before taking the treat. Treat in hand-when dog goes to take the treat, close the hand, say “leave it” …some dogs will paw or nudge or even bark your hand that is now closed, when they sit back and look at you or not at the food, open your hand and allow the dog to have treat!
All this training in one fun filled exercise.. who would of thought!?
~ Stacie ~