You can help your dog by preparing some extra tasty treats – something they really like so they’ll very much welcome you bringing to them.
- Calmly and quietly drop some treats near your dog while they are eating from their bowl.
You don’t need to say anything at all or go right up to them – because this might make them worry. Just approach gently and scatter a few treats onto the ground near your dog.
- Once you’ve dropped the treats, walk right away again!
Your dog needs to understand they will be able to enjoy finishing their meal and having these additional bonus treats without any pressure at all.
- Repeat this whenever your dog is being fed from their bowl
Through doing this over and over, your dog will be learning to look forward to you approaching them while they’re eating and that there is no risk that you’re coming to take anything away from them – because you’re actually coming to make things even better for them!
- Progress to dropping food into an empty bowl
For their next mealtime, as long as your dog appears comfortable and doesn’t show signs of being worried when you have approaching, place their bowl down completely empty. Take a handful of their normal food, walk over to the bowl and drop it in for your dog to eat. Walk right away again so there’s absolutely no reason for them to become worried and as soon as they’ve finished return and drop in another handful of food! They’ll anticipate you approaching their bowl with good things happening as a result!
- Help your dog learn to SWAP their toys for other toys, treats and fun!
When your dog is playing with a toy, get something they like even more than that – perhaps a different or favourite toy, or some extra tasty treats – and offer this to your dog a little distance away from what they already have. They should be enticed to drop what they have and come to you to get their reward! They’ll be learning that it is a good idea to let go of things they are enjoying, because it means they’ll be replaced with something even better!