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.

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