Anyone with a dog has most likely experienced getting their fingers skinned while giving their dog a treat. So what should you do about it? Well for starters, watch your energy level and tone of voice while offering the treat. If you promote that you are offering something tasty with a high pitched, sing-song voice and crazy, over-the-top energy, you're sure to increase your dog's excitement while encouraging him to get the treat as quickly (and yes, sometimes as brutally) as possible.

That said, the way you hold the treat is key.

wrong way to give dog treatsHow many of you are guilty of holding a treat between your thumb, first finger and middle finger? This is a sure-fire way to get your knuckles skinned or finger tips bitten accidentally. As much as we might work with our dogs to teach them to take a treat nicely, why not set them up to succeed and make sure we don't get hurt in the meantime? It's bound to be a much better experience all the way around.



right way to give a dog a treatThe way I teach my clients to offer treats to their dogs, which also happens to be the technique I for our dogs as well,  is to palm the treat between my fingers and use my thumb to control the release of the treat. Not only does this save my skin, it also allows me the control to offer the treat when I say so…not the dog. This is extremely effective, especially if you cup your hand slightly, allowing the dog to nuzzle their nose in your palm as you lure them into position. It also transfers nicely to hand signals as you advance in your training and fade out the treats.




–Chad Culp, Certified Dog Trainer and Canine Behavior Consultant

© Thriving Canine 2013