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Dog Behavior Problems and Training

Training Your Dog To Rid Its Possession Of Dog Bones


Training your dog to give over or drop objects such as bones and toys can prevent him from becoming aggressive over what he perceives as his possessions. You may want to take the attitude that everything you give the dog is on loan. Out of the goodness of your heart you either share or loan the dog food, bones or toys. When you want the items back, the dog must give them up without a bite.

To train the dog to give up a really delectable bone, condition him to give up other, less desirable objects first. To begin with, attach his leash or handle so that he can't get away. Start with a new toy, or a toy that only generates mild interest. Offer it to him, and after he takes it, immediately command him to "give". Offer him a very tasty treat such as cheese, liver, hot dog, or steak in exchange for the toy. Most dogs will give up the toy and take the treat. If he doesn't, take the toy out of his mouth. If he growls, a good shake correction is in order. The theory is that the dog learns that a growl elicits a shake correction, and release of the object results in a treat. Practice the training frequently, gradually working up to objects of higher value for the dog, ending with the bone.

If you give the dog bones to chew on, they should only be knuckle bones. Knuckle bones do not splinter, and the large bone is too big for the dog to swallow. Other meat bones or their splinters can cause damage. Give your dog rawhides only under supervision because dogs have been known to swallow and choke on them. As the rawhide softened from chewing, your dog may try to swallow it whole, and it could get caught in his throat.

There are many shapes of rawhides to choose from and most dogs tend to only choke on the square or round chews. Most dogs seem to do much better with the rectangle shaped rawhides. Regardless, never leave your dogs unsupervised with a rawhide. Nylabones may be a good choice when no one is around to supervise the dog. These plastic bones do not break and can not be swallowed. Unfortunately, many dogs do not find the Nylabones especially tasty, although recently, the manufacturer has developed a flavored Nylabone that seems to be more appealing. You might also try to improve the flavor of a Nylabone by soaking it in meat broth.

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