Have you ever seen someone playing fetch with a dog and then they mime the throwing of the ball and then laugh when the dog goes running?
Yeah, don’t do that.
No seriously, don’t.
It takes a long time to earn your dog’s trust and, eventually, if this is truly important to you, it can be taught to the dog as a game. But, in general, this is just an asshole move that a dog just doesn’t understand.
So, don’t do it.
So, I had a bit of a revelation while hanging out with my friend’s toddler and some teeny tiny puppies – SPOONS!
No, I am not using SPOON! as a battle cry.
Tiny little puppies have tiny little super sharp teeth and I didn’t want toddler to get ouchied, but he really wanted to feed the baby puppies.
Enter wooden spoons. I taught George to spoon up some wet food and hold it out to the puppies who greedily ate. Then it occurred to me, Holy. Shit. This is how all children should be taught to give things to dogs. It keeps little hands out of mouths and helps teach dogs that good things come from wooden spoons (this is how I give meds to my dogs too) and it teaches toddlers better spoon control. It’s a win-win.
Now for my standard disclaimer:
Because all dogs, regardless of size, are capable of causing devastating damage to a child even without aggressive intent, I highly recommend all children participate in a dog bite prevention training called “Be A Tree” training and that all families practice and discuss appropriate human behavior around dogs as well as how to recognize signs of a stressed dog. https://doggonesafe.com/Bite-Prevention
Tip: Randomly feed wet food to your dog from a wooden spoon. Then, when they have to receive medicine you can hide it in the wet food on a spoon and you will not be regarded with suspicion (my dogs are generally suspicious jerks).
Also, spooning the food saves on dishes.
I prefer to teach with small wooden spoons so no teeth clack onto metal, but once they learn to slurp from a spoon you can change up spoon type if needed.
Also, can teach them using this to “everyone sits, or nobody gets” and then to only take their spoonful when their name is called. Helpful for teaching dogs to deal with frustration with patience.
So, welcome to my new “category”. Because I am shocked and appalled on a daily basis at how very little I know, I try to learn more. However, it seems like the more stuff I learn, the more other stuff falls right out of my head – important stuff, like looking where the heck I am WALKING. In related news, I fell down and fractured a wee little piece off of my ankle. *sigh*
Anywhoodle, I realized today that I’m never going to have time to write down all the random things I do to make my life easier with dogs unless I actually start writing them down. Most of these posts will be super short and to the point and all will be categorized under Tips & Tricks.
Use them if they help you, ignore them if they don’t. If you have any suggestions I would LOVE to try them.