Ask Marianna: Taking Treats Too Rough


“Zelda” Bradford asks:

“How do I get my Golden Retriever to take treats easier? My fingers are sore!”



This is a fairly simple remedy, however it is easier to see in person than describe, but I will do my best!

When working with a dog who takes treats too rough, what I see most often is a handler to feeds the treats from the tips of their fingers and/or flinches just a bit, allowing the dog to come forward to TAKE the treat.

Instead, let’s switch it up – rather than feeding from the tips of your fingers, allowing the dog to come forward to take the treat, follow these two simple steps:

1.Tuck the treat in the “webbing” between your thumb and palm.
2.Confidently (but not aggressively) PUSH your hand into the dog’s snout, making him rock back – when you feel the dog rock back in response to the pressure of your hand pushing into his snout, release the treat. This will teach him that yielding to the pressure of your hand is what releases the treat. If he is rocking back to take the treat, he will be unable to grab at your hand/fingers.

Happy Training!


Posted in Ask Marianna