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Help – My dog snatches!

Dear Jennifer

I need your help please. My mom has stopped giving me treats! That’s right, she just stopped! She says it’s because I don’t take them nicely and get over-excited and then nip when I take them. But that’s the only way I know how to take treats. Please can you help her so she can show me the right way of taking treats so that she can start giving them to me again pleeeeease :)

Treatless Tess.

ask jennifer

Hi Tess,

Wow Tess, this really is a sad situation. No furkid should be denied treats. :(

So how we can restore some faith in your mum and her “treat dispensing style” so you can get back in her good books and earn some of your favourite treats ?

Firstly advise your mum to never offer you a treat by holding it between her fingers. Explain to her that it is sometimes difficult for you to restrain your delight at getting something yummy from her and in your excitement you may just inadvertently nip her fingers.

Tell mum to rather place the treat in the palm of her hand and hold it in place with her thumb, she can then offer you the treat by simply holding her flat hand in front of you. This has an added advantage in that if you do get a bit over excited and try to grab at the treat, mum only has to turn her hand and the treat is “gone”. Once you are behaving again she can re-offer you the palm of her hand with the treat in it.

Ask mum to help you to stay calm when taking treats by teaching you a cue. If she tells you “gently” when offering treats then you will be reminded that snatching is unacceptable and will result in no treats.

Ok let’s look at two scenarios:

One, mum asks you to sit and with the treat in the palm of her hand she presents it to you. You, over excitedly, try to snatch the treat. Mum twists her hand and the treat is no longer available to you.

Two, mum asks you to sit and with the treat in the palm of her hand she presents it to you and at the same time cues you with the word “gently” – that’s your reminder not to snatch ! You calmly take the treat from mum’s hand and hey presto everyone is a winner :)

Kind regards,

Jennifer