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Thread: Bites the Hand with Treat

  1. #1

    Default Bites the Hand with Treat

    Hi everyone this is my first post here so Hello

    I apologise if this has been answered somewhere else, I did a few searches and it didn't turn up anything relevant so I thought I'd post it here.

    I've just got a crossbreed (Golden Retriever mum and Kelpie /Cattle dad) pup and he seems fairly intelligent (I bet most people think that about their dogs though).
    On day 1 I started training him with positive reinforcement techniques ie food rewards and one of those clickers, he's doing very well, it's only day 3 and he already runs to get in front of me and sits hoping for a treat even when I'm not actively training him.

    My problem is that he has very sharp teeth and he is way too enthusiastic to get to the treat during training. As a result I now have several puncture holes and cuts in my fingers.

    Someone must have had this issue out there, any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2

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    I am no dog training expert so I hope you don't mind me replying.When we got our dog from the rescue place the lady there would get Dexter to sit and let him sniff the treat in her hand and if he was a bit excited she would say nicely and when he was more gentle give him the treat.It seemed to work for him.Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Put the treat on a fork
    Education not Legislation

  4. #4

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    What happens if you close your hand around the treat[make fist with food enclosed]? Dose he bite at your hand or lick & nuzzle?

  5. #5
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    When Lacey gets too boisterous, I just put the treat on the ground, or offer it to her with a flat hand. Works easy as.

  6. #6
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    First train bite inhibition. You can use the same techniques that have been discussed in here for biting puppy.

    Teaching Bite Inhibition | Dog Star Daily

    Then play "It's yer choice" c/o Susan Garrett (SG).

    So you might need to wear a glove for this.

    Put a treat in the glove hand and close it. Hold hand in front of dog. When dog (after several minutes of frustration and barking) takes his nose off your hand - open your hand (a minor reward), if he moves back towards the treat - close your hand again. If he manages to hold off - he doesn't need to sit or do anything else clever at this stage - all he needs to do is make air between your hand and his nose. Impulse control.

    Then you pick up the treat with the other hand - and slowly give it to him. If he tries to snatch it - put the treat - quickly - back in your gloved hand and close it.

    If he bites you and it hurts, squeal like the noise he makes when you step on his tail. Loud and sharp. ie really surprise him. And pack the game up. For at least five minutes - ignore him, no scolding, no talking, no eye contact.

    If he barks a lot more than you can stand - get up and turn away from him. SG will face the nearest wall. If he continues to bark - pack the game up as for biting.

    It's his choice to choose to be polite and wait for the treat instead of trying to steal or snatch it.

    I wouldn't move on to any other training until he can take a treat gently.

  7. #7

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    you beat me to it.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazydog View Post
    What happens if you close your hand around the treat[make fist with food enclosed]? Dose he bite at your hand or lick & nuzzle?
    He just licks and nuzzles, there's no aggression at all either, I think it's just over enthusiasm.
    I was giving him small pieces of sausage and he was good with them -nice and gentle, but when they ran out I switched to a bit ham I had left in the fridge and at this stage it looks like ham is his weakness and he can't control himself.
    I might have to lay off the ham until I get his manners sorted out.

    @Boxerini I tried the open hand approach and started getting nips from his needle sharp teeth all over my palms, I tried dropping it on the ground too, but with the ham he was in a feeding frenzy and he would not see it and follow the scent trail on my hand and it was taking up to ten seconds for me to point it out to him where the reward was, so I thought it might lose the effect of an reward in time for him to associate it with what he was getting it for.

    @Hyacinth Thanks for that, it sounds like good advice, I really want him to learn some manners so he doesn't bite anyone else or myself no matter what the food on offer is.
    I'll give it a go and focus on that until he shows he's got it.

    Thanks for all your responses everyone I really appreciate it.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bundybear View Post
    He just licks and nuzzles, there's no aggression at all either, I think it's just over enthusiasm.
    I was giving him small pieces of sausage and he was good with them -nice and gentle, but when they ran out I switched to a bit ham I had left in the fridge and at this stage it looks like ham is his weakness and he can't control himself.
    I might have to lay off the ham until I get his manners sorted out.

    @Boxerini I tried the open hand approach and started getting nips from his needle sharp teeth all over my palms, I tried dropping it on the ground too, but with the ham he was in a feeding frenzy and he would not see it and follow the scent trail on my hand and it was taking up to ten seconds for me to point it out to him where the reward was, so I thought it might lose the effect of an reward in time for him to associate it with what he was getting it for.

    @Hyacinth Thanks for that, it sounds like good advice, I really want him to learn some manners so he doesn't bite anyone else or myself no matter what the food on offer is.
    I'll give it a go and focus on that until he shows he's got it.

    Thanks for all your responses everyone I really appreciate it.
    Yes I would deffently go with the advice given by Hyacinth then.......
    Good luck I am sure you'll have it sorted in no time.

  10. #10
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    Hi Bundybear

    I think you don't need ham for most of your training right now, but it would be the best stuff for training a conditioned recall... ie the kind of recall that gets a dog back to you instead of chasing a rabbit under the wheel of a moving car. Also known as a "really reliable recall". Ie have a special word for this recall that you don't normally use, but you can remember in a panic easily, and carries a long distance. I use "C'mon" the way Leyton Hewitt says it when he's playing tennis.

    So three times a day - you say the dog's name when he's already headed your way or you're sure he will come and not be distracted, and you have a few bits of ham in your hand, and reward him with the ham... Try to make the ham and praise last 30 seconds - takes a bit of effort.

    After he's gotten that right without stuffing up for 100 repeats eg about a month, then start adding the "emergency recall word" eg "C'mon" or "Free Beer" or whatever you choose. But not the same word you normally get him to come. And feed the ham. Try to get it to last 30 seconds. After he's gotten this right 100 times (or every time, three times a day for a month), then it's pretty safe to use it out in the park. The more you practice it at home when he's got no (major) distractions and will get it right, the better it will work when you really need it. The ham plays a very important part.

    But you want him to take the ham without eating your hand.

    PS ham isn't that great for a treat because of the high salt and processing that goes into it - same reasons it's not that great for us either. In moderation it's ok. Fresh fried liver chopped into little bits then frozen for use as needed is better - no salt and minimum processing. But if your dog's uber treat is Ham, that's very useful to know.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 12-21-2010 at 10:16 PM.

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