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Discussion Starter #1
Would anyone be willing to PM me? I need advice on how to handle extreme food motivation and was hoping to get an outside opinion via PM first. Sorry if this type of post is not allowed- there is no agression or medical problems involved, just my first labrador :)
 

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the lab foster is currently in training for one of the guide/ service dog programs and we are supposed to be careful what we post online as theyve had clients in the past that "google" the dogs they recieve and can interpret common puppy issues as BAD dog issues.

I can go into a little detail but if someone would be willing to hear me out over PM before I post that would be awesome!!!
 

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That makes good sense. I will take a stab at a response here, but if there is any value in going to PM, I will follow you there!


I have 3 chow-hounds who love their high value training foods. They are highly food motivated. When I select a dog to fit my lifestyle, it's one of the things I place a high value on. I associate high food drive with high trainablity. When I train, I have food present at all times. I may have a bowl of food laying on the ground. I may have food in my hands. It's just around. I teach eye contact and fronts with food out. The dogs have to look away from the food to be successful. The dogs are forced to ignore the food to be successful. Once they can tolerate working with food always being around and they get their wits about them with food present, then I get the food out of sight so it isn't part of the cueing system. Then, the dogs can't know for sure if the treats are coming but have to perform anyway. Then if you flip back and forth with food being present of absent and it means about nothing.

My dogs will ignore food in my hand, in a bowl, on the ground, and they will work with food absent entirely. But you have to build this by waiting them out until you get the behaviors you are looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thank you! i sent you another one.

for anyone else joining in- how do i train a "leave it" when he wouldnt dare do it if i was there to stop him? if im in the room or he's on leash, he will ignore ALL food distractions. we were at the park and a screaming child came running towards him holding a bagel, and he ate the bagel.

do i just find some kids i know to work with me on slowly working their way up to acting just as the child at the park did? if i act as the "child" he wouldnt take the food- he would only take it from an actual small child.

how do you proof a behavior that doesnt exist for you to proof it? do i recreate the situation leading to the behavior, or is this a really bad idea?

i can PREVENT it, but i want to do more than that.
 

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Working your way up to proofing from.distractions, in as many places as possible. Starting with a dog that isn't hungry, use low value food. Work up to the best treats. Be careful using children, as they could reward him by accident.
 

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Doggy Zen!

I recommend this to teach impulse control. Basically you are teaching the dog "you don't eat anything until I say it's ok". So, in theory, there is no "leave it" cue. It's an automatic "leave it" for every piece of food UNLESS you specifically say it is ok. Eventually progress to a kid running and holding food.

I use this with my dog. Nowadays I will purposely drop food and she looks at it, then at me. I can say "get it" or "good job!" and hand her another yummy treat. If she moves towards it I quickly approach and step over the piece of food and she gets the hint (then I know to practice more too).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Working your way up to proofing from.distractions, in as many places as possible. Starting with a dog that isn't hungry, use low value food. Work up to the best treats. Be careful using children, as they could reward him by accident.
this sounds like the best way to go about it. anyone have any suggestions for low value food? he loves ice and eats his kibble in a heartbeat. he enjoys the taste of bitter apple. should i try vegetables? or make the initial "low value" treats something non edible, like one of his less favorite toys? and then progress to favorite toys, ice, kibble, liver treats, ect?
 

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Doggy Zen!

I recommend this to teach impulse control. Basically you are teaching the dog "you don't eat anything until I say it's ok". So, in theory, there is no "leave it" cue. It's an automatic "leave it" for every piece of food UNLESS you specifically say it is ok. Eventually progress to a kid running and holding food.

I use this with my dog. Nowadays I will purposely drop food and she looks at it, then at me. I can say "get it" or "good job!" and hand her another yummy treat. If she moves towards it I quickly approach and step over the piece of food and she gets the hint (then I know to practice more too).
PERFECT! i've done this with all my (previous) dogs but having it written out is helpful, i was almost reduced to tears after the bagel incident in the park- pretty much as if dunbar had come up to me and declared me the worst dog owner he'd ever seen.
 

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Broccoli, usually is.not a.favorite lol. Just remember, leave it means leave it. I never ok them to retrieve an item or eat anything when told this. You can reward a treat handed to him, but don't allow him to pick it up.

My dogs have to leave food out of sight on their own. Greta made me proud on a search. We had to search a collapsed pizzeria. Tons of goodies she walked over, and continued her search for buried people. I was hoping she was ready! After I was able to enter, I couldn't believe the cheese, sausage, and pepperoni piles she completely ignored.
 

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Doggy Zen!

I recommend this to teach impulse control. Basically you are teaching the dog "you don't eat anything until I say it's ok". So, in theory, there is no "leave it" cue. It's an automatic "leave it" for every piece of food UNLESS you specifically say it is ok. Eventually progress to a kid running and holding food.

I use this with my dog. Nowadays I will purposely drop food and she looks at it, then at me. I can say "get it" or "good job!" and hand her another yummy treat. If she moves towards it I quickly approach and step over the piece of food and she gets the hint (then I know to practice more too).
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Zen. for good descriptions of how to start go to http://sue-eh.ca/page24/page26/ and look up Zen in the training levels
 

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I'd modify the "leave it" so that the dog never eats anything, unless it comes from your hand or his food bowl. Later, you can extend it to other people's hands.
 

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for anyone else joining in- how do i train a "leave it" when he wouldnt dare do it if i was there to stop him? if im in the room or he's on leash, he will ignore ALL food distractions. we were at the park and a screaming child came running towards him holding a bagel, and he ate the bagel.
I love it, he did not eat the child and he likes bagels. It's a win-win situation:)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I love it, he did not eat the child and he likes bagels. It's a win-win situation:)

This made me feel a bit better :) we've been working on it and he will now ignore and move away from a freeze dried liver treat "offered" to him in an outstretched hand. Making progress!
 
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