Biting During Training

Discussion in 'Puppies' started by Mr-Remington, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    For the past few days Remi will bite my fingers very hard when I give him a treat during training. I've tried teaching him easy, but he just gets so hyper during training he doesn't understand what I want. He can't sit still long enough to really teach him to take food gently. Is there a way to teach him this since my way isn't working?
    tigerlily46514 likes this.

  2. Evie Experienced Member

    Will he bite at your fingers if you offer them to him without a treat in them?

    All puppies go through their "chompy" stages...

    It's not really solving the problem, more-so avoiding it, but you can always throw the treat on the ground so that he has to go find it rather than taking it out of your hand. Which is also a handy thing for the dog to do so that you can 'reset' before each repartition of the trick. eg. making him go find the treat means that he has to stand up and walk away after doing 'lay down' etc.

    Otherwise i'm not much help here. Evie's only every chomped on our fingers when we're play fighting with her..
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  3. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    My dog began doing this for a while, cuz my guy, when handing Buddy a bit of steak,
    would hold the steak, forcing the dog to "taste" it and "not just swallow it":rolleyes: , inadvertantly teaching Buddy that he had to grab treats to get them...:cautious: :rolleyes:
    which has nothing to do with your issue,:LOL: Mr Remi, but, i still find what my guy was doing unnnbelievable:confused: ...

    After educating my guy
    as a separate exercise from any trick,
    just as an exercise to teach Budd HOW to take a treat properly,
    I put treats in my hands, and closed my fist, and Buddy of course, began to chew around, work hard to get that treat released,
    and ONLY gave the treat when he ignored my hand.
    for a few days..
    Buddy caught on pretty quickly, i was surprised. and that was the end of "treat! treat! gnom gnom!" gnom on my hands..
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  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    somewhere in this video, kikopup demonstrates how to teach a pup how to take a treat nicely:

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  5. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    Thank you Evie and Tigerlily I am going to try both throwing the treat on the floor and the closed fist idea, just to mix it up.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  6. Ariel Well-Known Member

    Karma is super treat motivated and unlike Kismet, never took treats nicely (without trying to take a finger with it) until I started holding it in a flat palm, fingers together, and then I gradually worked the treat closer to my fingers until she began taking it more gently. Now I can give her a treat with fingers and I just give her a look and an "Ah ah" if she goes for it too fast. That is almost always enough to get her to be gentle.
  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"and I just give her a look and an "Ah ah" if she goes for it too fast. '//

    that probably works, too, but usually, correcting my dog is not nearly as fast or as effective
    as rewarding what i DO want him to do instead, which reeeeeeally works very well,
    and very very quickly,
    for *my* dog anyway.
    dogs tend to notice, remember and repeat things they get rewarded for.

    especially during tricks training, i just never ever 'correct' my dog in any way at all, it's all FUN, i do not even use the word "no" or "ah ah" for tricks training, ever. I just reward what i DO want, and what i do not want, gets no prize.
    and i just set aside special lessons specifically to teach my dog HOW to take a treat nicely-----when i liked how he acted, he got the treat,
    and when he was grabby, no treat------------- he got it right away!!:ROFLMAO:
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  8. Anneke Honored Member

    I did it like Tigerlily discribes. Use it on every dog I walk and it works like a charm(does take some time with some dogs though)
    There is only one dog that can't control himself and he's a lab. He's ALWAYS grabbing my whole hand and it really hurts! So I toss the treat to him. He loves to catch it, so I leave it like that. He's going on 14 and feeling his age a bit(dementia) so I don't think he understands it;)
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  9. 648117 Honored Member

    Be careful about throwing the treats on the ground for the dog. I did this for Holly because she was shocking about biting my fingers when taking treats but I think it made her habit of looking for food on the ground worse (although she is so food motivated she probably would have done this anyway but maybe wouldn't have been as bad).

    I think because I started to throw or drop treats during training and when teaching loose leash walking I would drop the treats (as is shown in the kikopup video for if you have a dog that doesn't take treats nicely) it tought Holly to look for food on the ground. So on walks she would have her head down making sure I hadn't dropped anything and she would be constantly searching for food on the ground during class. By the time I realised, she was loose leash walking well, but with her head down and would sometimes suddenly stop walking if she thought she saw a treat on the ground and would backtrack to get the treats sometimes.

    So then I had to basically teach her loose leash walking again (sort of - she wasn't pulling) but hand feeding her the treats as she walked so that she would put her head up and not look for food on the foot path and then mix up the treat giving so she sometimes got them with her head down (so she didn't start to think that she wasn't allowed to sniff). This could have been avoided if I hadn't given her treats on the ground in the first place.

    This retraining helped with the looking for food in class but she still had a problem with it so I've had to teach Holly a bit of a default leave it and she mostly gets hand fed treats now (although I still have to throw them for some things but try to avoid it) and if she is allowed some food off the ground I point to it and say "get it". We practice this by putting kibble all over the ground and I point to one piece and say "get it" and then the next and next etc so she practices only getting the piece I say she can have even if it is right next to another piece. Again, this could have been avoided (at least partly - she probably still would have looked for food) if I hadn't fed her off the ground.

    I'm not saying this will happen with your dog, but be aware that it could make ground-food-searching worse, especially if your dog is already very food motivated.
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  10. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    good job fixing that, 64!! nicely done! KUDOS!
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  11. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    Remi is very food motivated, so I might put some type of bowl or something to throw the treats into so he knows he knows that they are in that one specific spot. I'll see if that works so he doesn't look for food on the floor.
    southerngirl and 648117 like this.
  12. 648117 Honored Member

    That's a good idea.

    You could use a lid of some sort so it's flat if that's easier
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  13. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    I'm using a plastic can cover from the pet store. He learned quickly to get the treat from there. I'm going to try Tigerlily's way later tonight.
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  14. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Keep in mind too, that when Remi is doing his training, he might be getting excited - and dogs who get excited tend to get "bite-y", and it can increase with the level of their excitement. Age and maturity seems to help with lots of dogs - as will working specifically on a more gentle way to take treats. I toss treats to the floor a lot as mentioned above, and have never found it a problem as far as the dogs spending too much time looking for food. I'm working with a reactive dog right now (not my own), who, when on leash 'out in the world' gets so anxious that she's nearly taken several fingers off - and ordinarily she has a very soft mouth. I use her "treat-taking intensity" as a strong gage of her anxiety/stress level when we're out walking. I'm tossing as many treats as I can onto the ground for her, cuz it's either that, or lose fingers.
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  15. 648117 Honored Member

    Certainly not all dogs will have a problem with eating treats off the ground. And tossing the treat is definitly better than having a damaged hand :) .

    And I have no doubt that Holly would still have looked for treats off the ground even if I had never tossed any treats on the ground, she is very food motivated. But I also think it did make her a lot worse and she has since gotten better about it and she does take treats more gently now (using a similar method to what Tigerlily described and I think getting older helped Holly too).

    Tossing the treats just meant I had to do more training to stop her searching the ground, so if possible I think it is probably better to teach a dog to take treats nicely.
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  16. MaryK Honored Member

    Hi, What I find works well is to feed the treat off the palm of your hand, as if you were feeding a horse. The treat may, in the excitement of the moment, be knocked to the ground/floor but you fingers will remain safe:).
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  17. TiflovesBCs Experienced Member

    i'll have to try that because zara is a right snapping turtle
  18. Dogster Honored Member

  19. MaryK Honored Member

    Zeus must be related to Zara, he does the same thing when excited;)
    Dogster likes this.

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