How To Prevent Dog Bites When Feeding Treats

November is National Peanut Butter Month. It’s true! We know, as pet parents that we love to give ourteach dog to take snacks nicely dogs treats as a way to show them:

  1. They’ve mastered a trick
  2. They’ve learned a skill we’ve been teaching
  3. You simply want to give them a treat because you love them

Teaching a dog to take a treat nicely, from your hand, is something that should be taught when he is a puppy. You can certainly train an older, adopted dog to take a treat nicely, but it is something that needs to be taught with patience and with an eye toward safety.

The reason you want your dog to know how to accept a treat without lunging at your fingers or gobbling it so quickly from your fingers that you get nipped is so no one gets inadvertently bitten. If, for example your dog is with a pet sitter you want to make certain he will accept a treat without fear of your pet sitter getting bitten.

How To Prevent Dog Bites When Feeding Treats

Pet parents who are introducing grandchildren to the home and to the dog, need to be comfortable with the child offering the dog a treat. Let’s face it, kids will be kids and they want to share treats with their beloved family dog. That’s all well and good — if the dog has been well trained enough to know how to safely and gently take a treat from the child’s hand without biting.

With November being National Peanut Butter Month, you can certainly work with your dog with peanut butter treats (make sure the peanut butter doesn’t contain any xylitol as that is dangerous for dogs). You can train your pup to take a treat gently from your fingers by either putting a bit of peanut butter on a piece of their kibble or you can offer your dog another treat that she loves and training her to take it gently.

One way to train your dog is to:

  1. Ask her to sit
  2. Hold the treat in your fingers or in your hand and let her sniff it
  3. Hold the treat between your fingers so he can see it and sniff it, but not immediately take it
  4. Say “nice” or “take it nice” or “gentle” or some other word or phrase. When you’re training your dog, it’s best to choose a word or phrase and use it every time you’re training.
  5. Once your dog is sitting calmly, place the treat in your palm. Hold your palm flat and repeat the phrase, “gentle” and don’t let your dog take the treat until you give the release word which could be “okay” or “take it”
  6. Repeat this until your dog doesn’t lunge or snap at your fingers when you hold out a treat. This may take several days in order to get him to regularly wait to take the snack until you say “okay” or “take it.”
  7. If you’re going to have children in the house, it’s best to teach them to not feed the dog, but chances are they will do it anyway. If your dog has been trained to be gentle when taking a snack you just might prevent anyone from getting bitten.

We love our dogs, but they can be unpredictible. Even the most mild-mannered dog may bite when frightened or when introduced to a snack he’s never seen before. To protect your financial health in the event your dog bites someone, talk with us about getting a dog bite insurance policy.

About FIDO There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.

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