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Caesar himself doesn't look to 'calm/assertive' nor relaxed at the end there. He actually looks like he would hurt that dog as he's taking a drink of water and looking down as he towers over her.

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Dear Doggers,

 

For an unbiased view of Mr. Milan, look up the New Yorker piece on him. He is one of the finest dog trainers I've ever seen work - his intuitions and body language are magnificent. He is loathed by many Skinnerites because he gets results w/o reference to their theories and he employs corrections (anathema to many Skinnerites).

 

That said - I doubt that novice dog trainers can learn much from Mr. Milan. He relies on over-broad notions? propositions? to explain very specific moves with particular dogs. He is, like so many others, a better dog trainer than a dog owner trainer.

 

 

A newspaper / magazine is not my first port of call for unbiased, informed and evidenced based knowledge. CM's people are no different than the background boys of any other celebrity in the way they seek to fashion his public image. And threats of legal action for publishing less than adulatory comment have been reported. Why so defensive, I wonder?

 

Soft interviews are their stock in trade, for example, but he came seriously unstuck here in the UK on daytime TV when faced with an ex TV gardener who writes the occasional romantic novel who wiped the floor with him. CM really didn't see that coming. :lol:

 

He is loathed by those you attempt to insult by the label "Skinnerites" (many of whom have never heard of BF Skinner) because he is cruel, wrong and just plain dangerous to the public who will attempt to copy his worst excesses.

 

He makes his millions from novice dog owners yet you don't believe they can learn much from him? All the more reason for removing him from our screens. A broad brush approach can be a cover up for lack of depth of knowledge.

 

And I disagree that he is a better dog trainer than dog owner trainer. He is excellent at the latter - not in teaching them to train their own dogs but in believing in him and parting with their cash.

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Did anyone notice that during the whole "Holly" episode, the dog actually never became aggressive over food, but always after Ceasar physically abused her or her owner taunted her with a stick?

 

 

And it wasn't much of a bite given the level of provocation.

 

I have had dogs with the potential to be resource guarders; they don't guard now. Why? Because I have never given them any reason to guard. I can take anything away from any of them because it's such a rare event, even the one that used to be a biter.

 

I have a healthy scepticism about all TV dog trainers. Real training and education is boring to Joe Public who is after a quick fix. TV shows need to be entertaining and reality is usually left in the editing room. However, there are trainers whose methods are unlikely to cause any harm, even if they may not work when attempted by the average person, and those whose methods are not only unfair to the dog (at best) but have the potential to be dangerous if copied. I know which category CM falls into.

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CM's methods are now banned in Austria because they contravene the Austrian law on animal protection. Members of the public are legally bound to call the police if they see anyone using them and those who break the law can be fined between 7,700 and 15,000 euros.

 

Go Austria!

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And it wasn't much of a bite given the level of provocation.

 

I have had dogs with the potential to be resource guarders; they don't guard now. Why? Because I have never given them any reason to guard. I can take anything away from any of them because it's such a rare event, even the one that used to be a biter.

 

Sorry for continuing to hijack this thread, but I find this very interesting and I'm trying to learn about dog behavior and training.

 

Another thing that strikes me is what happens in the beginning of the episode. The owner gives the dog a command to back up and the dog immediately backs up 20ft. Then the owner serves the food. The dog continues to wait until he gives the "OK" command. That's a pretty impressive level of obedience with food around! Wouldn't that have been a good starting point, since they already had very good control over the feeding procedure? Just thinking out loud...

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CM's methods are now banned in Austria because they contravene the Austrian law on animal protection. Members of the public are legally bound to call the police if they see anyone using them and those who break the law can be fined between 7,700 and 15,000 euros.

 

Go Austria!

I read through the law and maybe I missed it but I don't see where CM's methods are banned. I see prong and electronic collars are banned. Inflicting 'heavy fear' are talked about (who decides what that is?) and "punishment incentives" (again, what exactly is that? Is saying 'no' to your dog a punishment incentive or is it being physical; hitting, kicking, ect?).

 

Would CM fall into the vague description of heavy fear or punishment incentives? Most of the time he is using simple slip leads (are those banned? They are used in most boarding kennels, grooming shops, many rescues/shelters, and dog shows here in the US). I am just trying to understand exactly what type of dog handling/training that falls under the CM method is banned? I find law in general interesting so just trying to learn more.

 

 

I am not sticking up for CM's methods, just trying to understand your laws. Depending on where you live in the US, our laws are pretty pathetic and many times can't even get an animal taken out of a horrific situation let alone prosecute those responsible for the neglect, abuse or death. I wish the US had some of the laws I just read in your Animal Protection Act.

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I read through the law and maybe I missed it but I don't see where CM's methods are banned. I see prong and electronic collars are banned. Inflicting 'heavy fear' are talked about (who decides what that is?) and "punishment incentives" (again, what exactly is that? Is saying 'no' to your dog a punishment incentive or is it being physical; hitting, kicking, ect?).

 

Would CM fall into the vague description of heavy fear or punishment incentives? Most of the time he is using simple slip leads (are those banned? They are used in most boarding kennels, grooming shops, many rescues/shelters, and dog shows here in the US). I am just trying to understand exactly what type of dog handling/training that falls under the CM method is banned? I find law in general interesting so just trying to learn more.

 

 

I am not sticking up for CM's methods, just trying to understand your laws. Depending on where you live in the US, our laws are pretty pathetic and many times can't even get an animal taken out of a horrific situation let alone prosecute those responsible for the neglect, abuse or death. I wish the US had some of the laws I just read in your Animal Protection Act.

 

 

Not my laws. Unfortunately here in the UK the situation is similar to yours - lack of enforcement. I would expect enforcement to be more rigorous in Austria. Austrians are not generally backward in coming forward and speaking out if they consider public behaviour to be out of order. The way to counteract such behaviour is to make it socially unacceptable.

 

As I understand it the Austrian law exists and some of the methods used by CM contravene that law and are therefore banned, not because they are "his" methods but because the Austrian legislators have deemed them unacceptable.

 

Some methods are clear and specific, such as shock and prong collars that he does admit to using and can be seen to use if you look carefully, some more subjective as you say but it would be up to the powers that be in that country to determine whether a report of ill treatment constituted a breach of the law.

 

Slip leads - dragging a reluctant St Bernard up stairs by a choke chain - cruel. Using a soft slip lead for convenience to lead a dog from one place to another without choking it - not cruel. It's not the tool it's the person operating it.

 

 

Would CM fall into the vague description of heavy fear or punishment incentives?

 

I would certainly hope so. obviously not everything he does but I have seen enough that does in my book.

 

When CM did a tour here he had to water down his approach considerably for fear of laying himself open to prosecution.

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I've had a bunch of border collies and they have all lived pretty ordinary lives. They really aren't a whole lot different than other breeds. You can make them into exercise nuts but I don't do that and my dogs are fine.

 

I do have a big back yard and they all go out everyday. Zeke would stay outside all of the time if I let him. Tommy also loves to be outside. But Joey - not so much. He likes to be in the house with me. They just run all over the back yard and play with each other. They get plenty of exercise that way. I do make them spend time inside being relatively quiet each day because they need to be able to come in and settle down and behave themselves.

 

Owning these dogs doesn't have to be a huge job. My dogs are really pretty easy and they are really fun to be around.

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Would CM fall into the vague description of heavy fear or punishment incentives?

 

Certainly not all of his methods are abusive or would fit this description, but IMO it doesn't take someone with a finely honed moral compass to consider the hitting, kicking and stringing dogs up fear inducing or punishment.

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Certainly not all of his methods are abusive or would fit this description, but IMO it doesn't take someone with a finely honed moral compass to consider the hitting, kicking and stringing dogs up fear inducing or punishment.

I was referring to the use of slip leads (not hanging a dog!), obviously if you are choking a dog or kicking a dog in public here in the US it would be cause for a call to the police but did you read the law in Austria? It is so vague yet so comprehensive and I was just wondering about the Mum's statement that his methods are banned.

 

Cesar does that tap thing with his leg or hand on the back end of a dog to snap them out of something or to get the dogs attention, is that illegal? Is it illegal to use a light leash pop as he does (however light you think it may be?) I am not saying I do these things, I am saying that they are things I have seen on CM's show and was wondering if those things are illegal as Mum eluded to them being.

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Not my laws. Unfortunately here in the UK the situation is similar to yours - lack of enforcement. I would expect enforcement to be more rigorous in Austria. Austrians are not generally backward in coming forward and speaking out if they consider public behaviour to be out of order. The way to counteract such behaviour is to make it socially unacceptable.

 

As I understand it the Austrian law exists and some of the methods used by CM contravene that law and are therefore banned, not because they are "his" methods but because the Austrian legislators have deemed them unacceptable.

 

Some methods are clear and specific, such as shock and prong collars that he does admit to using and can be seen to use if you look carefully, some more subjective as you say but it would be up to the powers that be in that country to determine whether a report of ill treatment constituted a breach of the law.

 

Slip leads - dragging a reluctant St Bernard up stairs by a choke chain - cruel. Using a soft slip lead for convenience to lead a dog from one place to another without choking it - not cruel. It's not the tool it's the person operating it.

 

 

 

I would certainly hope so. obviously not everything he does but I have seen enough that does in my book.

 

When CM did a tour here he had to water down his approach considerably for fear of laying himself open to prosecution.

Thanks for the response. I read through the law and it includes a lot that I wish were banned here in America. Your original statement of his methods being banned was confusing to me as he does some things a lot of people would think are cruel (as you said, dragging a huge dog up the stairs by its neck) and a lot other things that are not so abusive.

 

They even ban electric fence systems there which are extremely common here (I don't think most people even give it a thought at being cruel or something that needs banning) and other things like prong collars and chaining/tethering dogs which are all very common in the states (again, not saying I do these things but that they are common among most parts of the US). Every country is so different culturally in how they treat animals so I am not surprised that CM had to leave some things out when he went overseas. I know many other countries have made it illegal to do ear cropping and tail docking decades or years ago and these are again, very common here and most people don't even give it a thought at it being something cruel.

 

 

The Austrian law is pretty long and detailed and I doubt that someone seen giving a leash pop is going to be criminally prosecuted, which is what I was envisioning with your comment originally. It was interesting to read through though and wish the US could get on board with a lot of it. I think, like you mentioned, the law at least puts it out there that certain ways of treating an animal are no longer culturally acceptable. It doesn't mean that everyone will be criminally prosecuted for something but a lot of it may be more about changing perceptions and ideals for the next generation.

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Hi socj, I've had 4 border collies and they all have been so different in signaling their "needs". Zoey is our only dog now, and at 15 months old, I am still figuring out her needing to go out to relieve herself-- she is an easy read on just about every other need or want. She never whines, but is very expressive or just plain obvious. Bathroom signals can range from a lick on my elbow and then staring off into the distance, lol, to going to the door, jumping up and staring out the window or just circling the kitchen table, sitting at the door, etc. etc.... I find that I pretty much control her bladder and bowel by letting her out at scheduled times and telling her to pee or poop, so, she has to "tell" me if she needs to go out. When we are at our campsite, she is always off leash and goes to the edge of the woods to relieve herself whenever she wants. So it's always different scenarios. I am still learning specific signals from her, or I will just ask her, lol....

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Thanks for the response. I read through the law and it includes a lot that I wish were banned here in America. Your original statement of his methods being banned was confusing to me as he does some things a lot of people would think are cruel (as you said, dragging a huge dog up the stairs by its neck) and a lot other things that are not so abusive.

 

They even ban electric fence systems there which are extremely common here (I don't think most people even give it a thought at being cruel or something that needs banning) and other things like prong collars and chaining/tethering dogs which are all very common in the states (again, not saying I do these things but that they are common among most parts of the US). Every country is so different culturally in how they treat animals so I am not surprised that CM had to leave some things out when he went overseas. I know many other countries have made it illegal to do ear cropping and tail docking decades or years ago and these are again, very common here and most people don't even give it a thought at it being something cruel.

 

 

The Austrian law is pretty long and detailed and I doubt that someone seen giving a leash pop is going to be criminally prosecuted, which is what I was envisioning with your comment originally. It was interesting to read through though and wish the US could get on board with a lot of it. I think, like you mentioned, the law at least puts it out there that certain ways of treating an animal are no longer culturally acceptable. It doesn't mean that everyone will be criminally prosecuted for something but a lot of it may be more about changing perceptions and ideals for the next generation.

 

 

Do you think that geography plays a part in the acceptance of such things and why many in the US are lagging behind?

Everyone they know does it so it must be OK. Their fathers did it that way, their grandfathers etc so why would they change? And that guy on the TV says it's OK too so that puts the seal on it. It must be rare to come into contact with people who will challenge your traditions, especially if you live in a small community many miles from anywhere.

 

The US is similar in size to Europe - a single country as opposed to 45 countries wholly in Europe, around 50 if you include those like Russia and Turkey that are only partly in Europe. Many different cultures within easy reach of each other. Members of my immediate family think nothing of going to Switzerland, Belgium, Italy for the day for a business meeting. It's quite easy for a lot of people to compare cultural values.

 

Clearly the US is such a huge and diverse country that many will feel no need to travel outside its borders, or even very far within them.

 

I accept that the US is a multicultural society, as is the UK, but pockets of individual traditions are not the same as having contact with whole countries.

 

I'm not claiming that Europe is homogeneous in attitudes to animal welfare - it is far from that - but there are good examples to measure ourselves against.

 

Specific training methods come and go and no single one is in itself the great leap forward that will never be surpassed. What has been the true leap forward is the idea that we should consider the effect our actions may have on our dogs and to try and see the world through their eyes as best we can. Once that takes hold the methods should conform to a humane pattern even if they differ in detail.

 

There are some things in life I will never understand and one is why, if it is patently possible to achieve a training aim humanely, anyone would choose to use intimidation and/or pain as a matter of course?

 

If our armed services, police etc can train for situations where lives are at stake without the use of shock collars (and they do), why would anyone with a troublesome pet need one? Public outcry against examples of police brutality to their dogs has forced a tightening up of their training methods. SAR dogs work amongst stock all the time but don't have to be shocked to ignore them, only trained to want to find the subject because it has been rewarding to do so.

 

I find it mystifying why anyone would defend their use, but peer pressure is a powerful thing..

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Do you think that geography plays a part in the acceptance of such things and why many in the US are lagging behind?

Everyone they know does it so it must be OK. Their fathers did it that way, their grandfathers etc so why would they change? And that guy on the TV says it's OK too so that puts the seal on it. It must be rare to come into contact with people who will challenge your traditions, especially if you live in a small community many

 

Exactly. This is the mindset of people who chain a dog 24/7 everyday of his life on a short heavy chain. They cannot imagine why they should bring the dog inside ever, walk it ever, feed and water daily or do pretty much anything with a dog other than chain it outside because that is what their parents did and their grandparents did. It is very common in rural, poorer areas and I saw more of it in the south than anywhere else. When chaining/penning laws are passed or tried to get passed they are typically fought against strongly by many but lots of local jurisdictions have limited the practice. The laws are more about education than prosecuting people. Changing their minds and showing them that a dog needs social interaction, training and many cannot withstand extreme temperatures/weather. There are rescue dedicated to this work and yet people think they aren't doing any diservice to their dogs.

I have a great pyr near me that lives 24/7 chained on a heavy 8ft chain to a tree. He is never not out there - I call dog control to do a welfare check on a 95 degree day (called once as well on a 0 degree day too) and his water was knocked over, all he has is a 3 side rotted wood box. DCO says "the pastor would never hurt his dog" and refused to check on him. It is an old fashioned rural mindset- even though this dog lives on church property and church goers see him every week- yet it is totally acceptable.

 

Just like people cannot imagine getting certain breeds and not chopping their ears off. That is what our culture (AKC, breeders, history) has said certain dogs should look like so it doesn't even cross many peoples minds that it could be viewed as wrong to others. I was just talking about how declawing, ear cropping and tail docking is illegal in other parts of the world with my co workers- many couldn't understand why. I think i actually made one lady feel bad since she has a Doberman with her ears and tail done... Coming from a show background she never thought about why anyone wouldn't do it.

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Just like people cannot imagine getting certain breeds and not chopping their ears off. That is what our culture (AKC, breeders, history) has said certain dogs should look like so it doesn't even cross many peoples minds that it could be viewed as wrong to others. I was just talking about how declawing, ear cropping and tail docking is illegal in other parts of the world with my co workers- many couldn't understand why. I think i actually made one lady feel bad since she has a Doberman with her ears and tail done... Coming from a show background she never thought about why anyone wouldn't do it.

 

 

This is what I mean about lack of contact with other cultures. Ear cropping has been banned in the UK since 1899 and is now illegal in the vast majority of European countries.

 

You can see what company the USA keeps in still allowing it if you google it.

 

Tail docking for cosmetic purposes is widely banned too. I guess your show colleague doesn't show abroad otherwise she'd know what restrictions she'd face.

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This is what I mean about lack of contact with other cultures. Ear cropping has been banned in the UK since 1899 and is now illegal in the vast majority of European countries.

 

You can see what company the USA keeps in still allowing it if you google it.

 

Tail docking for cosmetic purposes is widely banned too. I guess your show colleague doesn't show abroad otherwise she'd know what restrictions she'd face.

 

As an immigrant, I can attest to that! I grew up in Sweden and my mother was the president of the Swedish Boxer Society, so I've heard my fair share of docking and cropping debates...

 

Dog ownership and training is very different here in the US compared to my native Sweden. My mom was very active in showing, obedience and tracking I literally grew up around dog-sports. Positive reinforcement, treats and classiscal conditioning with treats was definitely the norm for obedience training, both when it comes to everyday obedience and competitive obedience.

 

Crating of privately owned pet dogs is very uncommon in Sweden and generally frowned-upon. Commercial dog owners and breeders would still use crating, of course.

 

Puppy mills and petstore-dogs are no-existent in Sweden.

 

Cropping has been illegal for at least 50 years (probably a lot more) and cosmetic docking got outlawed in the late 80s or early 90s.

 

I'm not saying the dog culture in Sweden is better. Just different. In fact, I've had some amazing dog-related experiences here in the US.

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Don't know about castration, but EU allows docking, whereas Sweden (and some other countries) have a complete ban on tail docking of all species, unless it is medically necessary. Maybe we've strayed just a bit from the OP now... :)

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I'm interested in what you're saying here. I guess my original question was...at what point do I know that the restrictions I'm putting on the dog are too restricting? How do I know the difference between a need and a want?

I love my dog and he is a big part of our family but I also feel like I should not need to be a slave to his needs or his wants. We have two small children and a third on the way and there are days when everyone has to suck it up. These last few months have been really lean for him exercise wise but I swear that he knows that it is just short term.

 

When we first got Orbit, it was just him and our senior dog so free time revolved around them. We planned outings that they would enjoy. However, we made a point never to play with them in the house. I know that this may seem extreme but I have never wanted any confusion about what happens in the house: we snuggle, we pet, we chill but we do not play. If I felt that he needed a few minutes of ball chasing we went in the back yard or across the street to the park.

 

So now, I have a dog that has no expectations in the house what so ever. Put your shoes on and he is ready to go but he can relax at home because he knows that he is not missing out on anything.

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we made a point never to play with them in the house. I know that this may seem extreme but I have never wanted any confusion about what happens in the house: we snuggle, we pet, we chill but we do not play. If I felt that he needed a few minutes of ball chasing we went in the back yard or across the street to the park.

 

I thought of this! I was actually going to ask what you guys thought about simply not allowing wild play in the house at all so the dog knows inside is for chilling out. Does anyone else do this?

 

I'm also interested in the discussion about Cesar, particularly resource guarding. When I first got my golden I was told by the dog trainer that when he's a pup, I should pick up his food bowl occasionally, give him a little treat when he was nice about it, move the food bowl somewhere else, sit next to him and pet him, feed him a couple of treats from my hand while he was eating, so that he would learn that human interaction during food times was a good thing and didn't mean his food was going to go away. Neither of my dogs have ever been food aggressive, and I was going to ask, is this a good way to train or did I just luck out and get extremely well behaved dogs? (Goldens are, obviously, known for being super sweet and my other dog couldn't hurt a butterfly if she tried.)

 

My other question is, I keep reading a lot about "don't let your border collie herd children/cars/whatever" but I can't really find any information about HOW you "don't let them" do this. How do you teach that?

 

I love this forum, I've been a lurker for so long, I'm always afraid to join new forums for fear I'll be ridiculed for how little I know about things, lol, but you guys are great! Thanks! :)

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I'm also interested in the discussion about Cesar, particularly resource guarding. When I first got my golden I was told by the dog trainer that when he's a pup, I should pick up his food bowl occasionally, give him a little treat when he was nice about it, move the food bowl somewhere else, sit next to him and pet him, feed him a couple of treats from my hand while he was eating, so that he would learn that human interaction during food times was a good thing and didn't mean his food was going to go away. Neither of my dogs have ever been food aggressive, and I was going to ask, is this a good way to train or did I just luck out and get extremely well behaved dogs? (Goldens are, obviously, known for being super sweet and my other dog couldn't hurt a butterfly if she tried.)

 

Personally I would never bother my dogs while they are eating in that way and I wouldn't take their bowl away.

 

What you were told to do is way better than taking the bowl away just to prove you can though. Trying to make it a pleasant experience is OK but just giving the dog it's food and letting it eat in peace is as good a way as any if the dog is showing no signs of guarding its food.

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I do think that it's a good idea to proof your dog against guarding resources from people, especially if there's ever any possibility at all that the dog may be around children.

 

I play trading up games with my dogs, starting when they're wee puppies if that's when they arrive or as soon as they're adopted if adults. I ask them to give me things they're chewing, including raw meat and bones (I'm a raw feeder), which are about as high value possessions as they come, and then I praise. I'll start out by giving them something else as a reward, usually a tasty treat, though I fade that out over time. 99% of the time I immediately give back what I've already taken from them, so that they don't learn to fear that they'll lose the proffered object forever.

 

My dogs gladly give me most things they have, and perhaps reluctantly if it's raw meat or a bone, but they usually do give it to me. Sometimes if it's a small piece of meat, they'll swallow it quickly, though. They are dogs after all. ;) But once they're reliable I don't often ask them to give me their dinners back, only occasionally as a reminder that I own the food.

 

This is also useful for the times when they do pick up something that's inappropriate or even dangerous for them to have. Those are the times I don't give the object back, of course, but I will run and quickly find a treat to replace it.

 

"Leave it" and "wait" cues are also great for possessions, including food. "Leave it" has saved my food obsessed (former starving stray) therapy dog from picking up pills from the floors of nursing homes more than once! And we routinely do "wait" when their food bowls are being set on the floor or if I hand them larger chunks of raw meat or bones. They have to wait for the release word before they can eat. Great for impulse control.

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What Gentle Lake said ^^^^

 

I started a little less drastically than has been suggested to you. (I don't think trading a whole bowl of food for a little treat is quite fair.) If my pup was eating his kibble, I would drop into his bowl a bit of deli meat or some cheese - something that should have a higher value than kibble. The idea was to let him know that when my hand came close to his food, it was a "good thing". He was going to get something better. Now if I bring my hand close to his bowl, he stops eating and looks at the bowl waiting to see what good stuff is going to drop out of the sky.

 

I also did a bit of letting him eat some canned food out of my hands (which were in his bowl) when he also had kibble in his bowl. Same idea as above - people hands = good things.

 

I am not a big fan of petting a dog when they are eating. Really? Would you like someone petting you while you were eating? Ick! I have pet my dog a couple of times while he was eating (and he was fine), but that was just to see how he would respond.

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