I'd like our dogs to realise that access to all the things they love are provided by us and that they can be earned by doing simple tasks.
This improves their focus and levels of self-control as they learn that in order to get something that they want, they need to do something that we want.
You may want to start by practicing this at a lunchtime or evening meal rather than first thing in the morning to begin with - especially if your dog is very hungry first thing in the morning!
1. Ask your dog to ‘Sit’ or ‘Down’ depending on how well they know their cues for these behaviours
3. Lower the bowl to the floor – if they move out of position simply raise the bowl back up
4. Important note - you shouldn't be raising your other hand/pointing your finger at your dog or repeating yourself, the bowl moving away when the dog makes the wrong decision should do all the talking for you!
5. Repeat until your dog remains in the position you requested and you’ve managed to put the bowl onto the floor – use your release word to let them know that they’re now allowed to take it
Training reminder: In the same way we use a word to instruct our dogs to ‘Wait’ or ‘Stay, we also need a word that means now you are allowed to move – this is what we term a release word. You may have a couple which depend on the situation for example ‘Okay’ for everyday use, ‘Get it’ for playing with your toy, or ‘Go’ in an agility context.
Today I'm grateful that small pieces of training can be fitted into a busy life, because mine is certainly that! :D