Cheeseburgers

WHAT YOU ARE TRAINING

You’re teaching your dog to watch your hand to see where you throw the treats.

WHY YOU SHOULD TRAIN THIS

  • Pups don’t tend to use their nose very effectively.  This exercise will help them to see where the treats land, and use their nose to locate the treats.
  • Sniffing, in this case for treats, is calming and can be used to help your dog wind down after some fast physical exercise.
  • If you can anticipate that your dog will rush towards you, or someone else, or something else such as an open door, you can encourage your dog to run in the opposite direction by throwing treats.

HOW YOU WILL TRAIN THIS

STEP 1

You’ll use rewards to make a really positive association with the word ‘cheeseburgers’.

Note that your dog does not have to do anything to get the treat, he doesn’t have to look at you, he doesn’t have to sit, he doesn’t even have to be facing you.

  • Say ‘cheeseburgers!’
  • Give your dog a treat
  • Repeat until your dog is looking at you reflexively when you say ‘cheeseburgers!’

STEP 2

Note that, unless a dog has been taught to sniff things out, you need to make him aware of the treats in your hand.

  • Have a handful of very small, smelly treats
  • Put your hand under the dog’s nose so that he can smell the treats
  • Raise your hand above the dog’s head
  • Say ‘cheeseburgers!’
  • Let the treats fall past the dog’s nose
  • Repeat until your dog puts his nose to the ground when you say ‘cheeseburgers!’

STEP 3

  • Repeat step 2, varying where the treats are thrown to the front of the dog.

STEP 4

  • Repeat step 2, varying where the treats are thrown to the side of the dog.

STEP 5

  • Repeat step 2, varying where the treats are thrown behind the dog.

HOMEWORK

  • Ask each member of the family to do this exercise with your dog (you can use your dog’s kibble and add treats intermittently).
  • Vary the locations where you do this exercise; different rooms in the house, in the garden, when you’re out for a walk.