Years ago, tossing a treat was a simple way to check if a dog could re-engage. Throwing a treat a short distance from you onto the ground allows you to move the dog away without instructing them or using any pressure. It’s a straightforward technique that even people new to dog training can quickly get the hang of.
Over the years, I have realized that this deceptively simple technique is incredibly powerful and has many more uses than I could ever have imagined. I don’t know if I can even list all the ways I use this simple training tool now!
Here are some that I use all the time:
A treat toss is a way to:
- relax a dog by creating a head-down body posture
- reset a dog to allow another training repetition
- build eye contact
- develop enthusiasm in recall training
- create a no-pull zone with a dog that pulls or barges
- build connection
- prevent jumping with an unskilled puppy
- distract a dog
- treat an overly-aroused dog to protect your hands
- move an excited dog from one place to another
Do you use a treat toss with your dog? What’s your favourite? Do you use it in a way that isn’t on my list? Leave a comment below.
For more training tips, check out Positive Dog Life.
Want more information to help with your dog? Check out my blog, A Day With Dogs or visit hippup.ca