|Fresh food suggestions - cheese,
liver, pork, beefburger, gammon,
chicken, pepperami, hot-dog,
sausage, beef steak, lamb,
6cm x 6cm, 4cm high -
2 boxes for £2.80
|Dried food suggestions - dog food
(lamb, fish, chicken, vegetable
dog treats cut very small,
fishy cat treats etc
(GB Pound coin used to show the size of the pieces of food in both pictures)
Satisfy your dogs innate scavenging instincts in a positive and constructive way when you want to reward your dog -
- Use a variety of tiny tasty treats cut up very small and keep them in one
of the two treat boxes. Because it is airtight your dog will be unable to
smell what you are carrying and it will become far more eager to run to you
to find out what you are going to give it this time! Dogs have amazingly good
sense of smell and can pick up the scent of any food treats hidden
in your pocket or bum-bag. The treat boxes overcome this by sealing in the
wonderful tempting aromas so that the dog has no idea whether you have food
hidden about your person or not.
- Place 1 or 2 of the tasty treats in the other treat box beforehand and
seal it tight with the lid. When the dog is due for a reward, instead of giving
the dog a treat from your hand ("too quick and easy" thinks the dog!) open
the box and HOLD IT close to, or on, the ground for the dog to lick clean.
Do not rush the dog - half the fun of licking the box out is making sure that
every last particle and smell has been removed! Dogs will thoroughly enjoy
spending up to 20 or 30 seconds exploring the box, even though to us it seems
empty once the dog has eaten the tiny treat. The whole procedure is far more
memorable and pleasant for the dog than a quick gulp from the handler's hand,
and it builds up strong happy associations with the box and the training it
is being given at the time. Most dogs enjoy a tasty morsel of food as a reward
(see Food as a Motivator for an in depth look into
this subject) however dogs also love to scavenge and lick food containers
clean. This is why these Treat Boxes are so effective.
Dogs make no attempt to sniff the ground once the box is licked clean as the food was contained in the box. Seeing the box put away afterwards is a strong visual sign to the dog that the exercise is over. It can then focus its attention on repeating the exercise and earning another go of licking the Treat Box out. Also there are no environmental distractions for other dogs in the training area as the scent of the food is not on the floor, nor has the handler accidentally dropped any treats whilst in their hands.
- Because the treat is held in a sealed container, unusual sticky treats
(such as tinned fish) can be used on the odd occasion to add even more exciting
variations to what the dog will be given as a reward.
- This Treat Box system is particularly useful for
dogs that are being rehomed - the rescue centre can train the dog to come
to the box and then they can pass the box game on to the dog's new owners.
The dog will quickly build up happy associations with the new owners and be
confident of the humans playing the same games, no matter who is holding the
This also makes it easy for different family members (or pet sitters) to walk a dog that has been trained using this method, as the dog will happily come to anyone who calls it while holding the "magic" box!
- When playing Dog-Games, it is recommended that
a number of Treat Boxes are primed with titbits before the dog comes to the
training area. Dogs can become very distracted by the sight and smell of food
being placed in a box before the start of the next run and this may hinder
their concentration in the lesson. Try to put different treats (or different
mixtures) in each box so that the dog does not become complacent and begin
to guess what it will find in the box next time. Think of it like a Lottery
- what will the "prize" be next time?
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