With Your Dog
One of the most challenging things to work on with your dog might be engagement. Dogs become easily distracted when outside and often enjoy chasing after anything that moves. Most dogs enjoy being outside to sniff around and explore while often forgetting you even exist at the end of the leash.
If you make it a priority to build strong engagement and strengthen your relationship, you can have a dog that is more neutral and doesn’t get distracted as easily. If you are tired of your dog pulling you to chase after every leaf that blows in the wind, this blog post may help to improve these issues!
Hand Feeding Meals
Strengthening Your Bond
Most dogs view their food as the most valuable resource in their life. It’s something they cannot live without and most dogs love to eat. Using that, we can harness that drive and desire to strengthen our bond with our dog. One of the best ways to build your bond is through hand feeding meals. Simply take a few pieces of kibble at a time and let your dog eat from your hand. You can run around, let them chase you, do simple obedience drills, or simply let them eat from your hand. All of these methods will continue to bring them to you and you control this valuable resource.
We typically recommend hand feeding at least one meal per day, but the more the merrier! If you can hand feed every single piece of kibble your dog eats, they will quickly learn that YOU control the most valuable resource in their life. They will keep coming back to you and continue to check in with you because you hold this resource. Harness this power to strengthen your relationship!
Build Food Drive
Another great benefit to hand feeding your dog’s meals is building stronger food drive. When you leave food out in a bowl for your dog, they do not have to do anything to get it. They do not have to work for it. It’s just given to them for free, thus reducing the value. If we had a money tree growing in our back yard, we’d likely never go to work – so it’s the same concept!
If you hand feed your dog’s meals while working on basic obedience drills, you will quickly build their food drive. Making them work for their meals will bring even more value to their food. Harnessing this drive will only continue to build up your relationship.
Improving Reliability In Obedience Commands
Once you have built up food drive in your dog, working on obedience commands can be very easy. Using the food as a lure, you can easily guide your dog into the proper behaviors you’re seeking. With proper timing, you can reward your dog with their kibble directly from your hand, improving your relationship, building engagement, and increasing food drive all at the same time. Continue to work on the basics in a low distraction place and slowly work your way up.
Hand Feed Your Dog!
There are so many more benefits to hand feeding your dog, but the above are a few of the main ones. If you can start slow with just a few minutes each day, you will see a drastic improvement in your dog’s engagement with you. With time, your dog will be able to ignore distractions with ease and will focus much more on you when out and about in public. If you need additional help with training, reach out to our sister company Delaware K9 Academy and they will love to help!