Dogs naturally want to please and earn their reward- evolution has shaped this from having to hunt for their prey or work to co-operate with humans by being domesticated. Why waste the opportunity of giving all your “value” in one go, in so little time for very little effort? You could use kibble piece by piece throughout the day by rewarding any behaviour that pleases you or any co-operation shown by your dog.
For example… my dog showed me eye contact on the walk “yes!” reward. I used food as a distraction whilst walking past a big group of dogs “yes!” Would you normally reward that behaviour? Or oversee these small things? Your dog will naturally be more inclined to listen and show interest as you hold value in the food that he needs over the value of chasing something. The more this is done; these little habits will become ingrained. Your dog knows that at any minute of the day you may reward as a bonus and they will be inclined to work for this and offer behaviours and be more self-disciplined. They don’t know when the next jackpot is coming!
Obviously we don’t have time to enforce this 24/7, especially on busier times of the day like before heading out to work. Why not throw some kibble in your garden whilst you get ready? Distract your dog from barking at the neighbours/ school kids walking past the window or the postman? Kong’s/ snuffle balls/ lickimats and snuffle mats are also making your dog work for their meal if you need a distraction to get some jobs done. This is all about reinforcing, confidence building and allowing dogs to take on new skills in life!
However, on the flip side, I see so many people rewarding their dogs for doing simply nothing. My dog is begging on at my treat pouch so I will reward. No! This is your dog training YOU! Remember to pick the right moments and behaviours to reward.
This also is a great new way of helping dogs that lack motivation where they are used to earning their daily food for very little effort. It’s worth a try to spark some new drive! Remember, every piece of kibble can hold so much value!
This can also be done for raw feeders by putting the daily allowance in a tube for them to lick from. I hope you find this useful and have taken something from this. Now go away and reward something positive that you wouldn’t usually. (Obviously taken from the daily food allowance haha).
If you need some inspiration, have a look at our online shop as we stock snuffle balls and mats!