What does your dog learn while eating his dinner?
How to inhale a meal in record breaking time…?
…we need to talk…
Decker earns his meal by catching it, chasing it and sniffing it, and although this is certainly lots of fun, he’s also learning lots, such as, to choose his human over all the stuff in the park like dogs, other people, wildlife, smells and goings on, that his human is where the fun is, responsiveness is rewarding even when distracted and excited and boring kibble can be great!
Don’t waste these opportunities by feeding from a bowl – think of every mouthful of food for your dog as an opportunity to reward desirable behaviour. And if you do that, your dog will choose unwanted behaviour less.
Don’t worry if you don’t feed kibble, you can still inject fun/training/exercise/focus into meal times!
(Depending on which components you feed here are some ideas that I have used in such situations)
- freezing raw e.g. minces into nuggets in an ice-cube tray and hiding those
- using a high quality/grain free kibble
- drying dietary components to make jerky – works especially well for offal components
- the use of freeze dried treats with a high meat content may be counted toward diet
- bone or whole organ components can be used in scent games
- stuff Kongs or similar with minces or soften components and bring on walks or use as rewards in training, by offering a couple of licks for example
Fun, focus, exercise and training packed into just one meal!
For more on making ‘boring’ rewards more rewarding here.