So Easy — Hand Feeding Puppies

There are some things in dog train­ing that are so dang easy they are hard to believe.  This sec­tion is espe­cially for those crazy easy train­ing tips.

A dog eating a treatHand feed your puppy.  It’s that sim­ple.  Until your puppy’s adult teeth grow in at around 5 months we have a mirac­u­lous oppor­tu­nity to teach our pup­pies to be gen­tle with their mouths (the all impor­tant acquired bite inhi­bi­tion) and pre­vent resource guard­ing all in one easy step.  Sim­ply throw out that food bowl and have your fam­ily dis­pense all meals by hand until 6 months of age.  Here’s why…

It pre­vents food guard­ing.  Guard­ing val­ued objects and food is a com­pletely nat­ural behav­ior for dogs and some­thing that must be actively pre­vented in pup­pies.  Feed­ing by hand teaches pups that hands bring food, not take it away.  A les­son they will carry into their adult years.

It cre­ates a gen­tle mouth.  Dogs only have a short win­dow in which they can learn how to use their mouths on peo­ple, a cru­cial les­son for your dog’s future well-being.  Learn­ing to dis­cern between fin­gers and food even when excited is crit­i­cal, espe­cially in a house­hold with small children.

It makes you awe­some!  We, and our dogs, would do good to remem­ber that we’re the ones with the thumbs which means we have the power.  If they want to eat, they’re going to have to go through us.  Every hand fed ses­sion reminds our dogs that we are the all mighty keep­ers of the food.  Do not give this great power away to a food bowl.

Hope you enjoyed this crazy easy train­ing tip.  This can also do won­ders for newly acquired adult dogs or dogs begin­ning a train­ing pro­gram.  Now get out there and hand feed!

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