Waiting for dinner

A really good skill to teach, waiting for your release before chowing down teaches impulse control (ie, the dog or cat learns to control the instinct to just eat).

Starting with a solid ‘stay’ or ‘wait’ is important (whether sitting or standing, whatever your preference), ‘leave it’ can come in handy, and a good release word is needed. The release can be something simple like ‘ok’ or something more complex or harder to guess if you’re wanting to teach eating on command only.

The challenge is that getting to the food before release is rewarding. So set up for success – initially you may need to release as you put the bowl down, and then you can build on that. Bowl closer, bowl further away, count to 2, count to 20, test your release, etc.

This ties in with Nothing In Life Is Free (NILIF)*, a real base or core concept for training with your dog or cat. It’s basically about making sure nothing is free, so seeking behaviours from your dog or cat before giving resources (food, water, toys, etc).

This helps especially to give you control over interactions with your dog or even between dogs. It helps train impulse control in your dog.

*Check out this article for more on NILIF: http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm


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