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How do you teach 'gentle'

November 27th, 2005, 01:18 PM
I went to the dog show yesterday and they had a demonstration of Mira dogs. The guy took off the poochs harnest and gave him a cookie but he said 'softly' or 'gentle' (I can't remember which) and the dog took the cookie sooooo incredibly gently from him.
I'd love to teach Buster that, but I don't know how to...Anyone manage to teach their pooch to take food gently??

Lucky Rescue
November 27th, 2005, 01:51 PM
Yes, I taught my dog this. When I got her, she would lunge like a barracuda and engulf your arm up the elbow.:p

It's sort of the same technique as used to teach "Leave it". I'm sure people have different ways but here's what I did.

I'd hold a treat in my hand,and if Chloe lunged, I closed my fingers over it and said "No...Niiiice.." in a calm and low voice to calm her down.

Offer treat again. Dog lunges, no treat. It only took Chloe about 3 tries to learn that grabbing got her nothing. Now she takes things very gently.

November 27th, 2005, 03:50 PM
Hold a small treat in your fist so just a tiny bit is sticking out. Offer it to the dog and when he nips trying to get it then say 'no' and take your hand away.

Do this every time until he either starts nibbling the treat without touching your hand or licking it. Then say, 'gentle' (or whatever your keyword is) and 'good' and give it to him.

Keep training it or he may realize he can revert to old grabby habits without concequence.

As an off-shoot of this, it's also a good idea to teach dogs to never grab your hands at all. If we are playing and my dog accidently misjudges and grabs my hand instead of the toy, then play stops immedietly.

Sometimes I'll even try to put my hands in the way of his mouth purposly to try and make him foul up and learn that I can be very unpredicable, so he always has to watch what I'm doing.

So now we can play as fast and rough as we want to, and never worry that he's going to accidently give me a bruise, no matter how riled and excited he gets.

November 27th, 2005, 04:31 PM
I hold a cookie in my hand so that just the tiniest bit sticks out for smelly effect and then when they bite, I say "OW! Easy!" and after 2 or 3 tries, they finally decide to try to be more accurate with their teeth...

For playing we just say "Ow! No biting," and stop the game.