Do you have a dog that isn’t motivated by food during a training session? A dog that would prefer sniffing the ground than taking food treats from you? What would you say if I told you I can help your dog become food motivated with two simple changes?
Read on to find out how you can get your dog interested in food for training purposes.
All food comes to them from training
Ditch the food bowl and make your dog earn their keep! You pay the mortgage/rent on their “kennel” (read your house!), you provide all the dog needs to live so why not ask them to work for it? This concept is usually harder for us as humans to adjust to, but it can have a massive impact on your relationship with your dog. They become more attentive to you and they try really hard to figure out what they need to do for you to get the food.
If you can’t jump in and ditch the bowl all together, start by training your dog before meals with their breakfast and or dinner. If a dog is hungry he will work for his food. Teach them a new trick like spin, shake hands even just a sit and stay. Have some fun with it.
Make the “treats” SUPER tasty!
How would you feel being given the exact same food everyday for your whole life? Imagine how your dog feels! We get into a habit of buying the same food in the same flavour because they like it. Buy smaller batches and different flavours. Add some raw into the diet like raw meaty bones. Freeze raw chicken drumsticks or wings and replace a meal with one or two (depending on the size of your dog) Ask your dog for a behaviour (sit, wait, spin, shake hands…) before giving them the bone.
If your dog isn’t super excited by kibble you need to up the value of the food. Mix in left over meat from your meals, buy some raw dog rolls and cut it up into small pieces and mix it with the kibble. This also adds to the anticipation for the dog. One reward will be kibble (ho hum) but the next one might be left over steak (OMG!!). Your dog isn’t going to know which “treat” is coming next and this can increase their motivation to work. And mixing it all up means the kibble ends up smelling like and tasting like the other yummy stuff.
Give it a try and let me know how the food motivation in your dog changes.