Teaching your dog to catch food is a fun trick to try. Some dogs struggle with his trick, but for many, it is one of the easiest. Your dog is motivated to learn to catch food in his mouth because he gets a reward while he's doing the trick. Teaching your dog to catch food is an opening trick to teaching him to catch other larger objects like tennis balls and Frisbees. Some dogs, however, will watch a treat bounce right off their nose and then pick it up off the ground once it has settled. Giving your dog the fabulous idea of catching food becomes easier when he realizes it's a game for you both. You can turn your dog into a treat and food-catching dog with just a few hours of repetitive training.
My dog loves treats and will do anything to get it but when I throw the treat to her she flinches so it will drop. She sometimes backs away from it. What should I do?
Hello Cameron, To get Scarlet used to catching treats try standing right in front of her with the treat only a few inches above her head. Drop the treat right onto her mouth while she is looking up. Keep the treat just three or four inches above her mouth at first and make sure that she is looking up at it when you drop it. When she can catch it from there without flinching, then gradually raise the treat higher and higher each time, so long as she is comfortable and having fun, until you are holding it a couple of feet above her head when you drop it. Expect this to take her several days or a couple of weeks to work up to. When she can catch the treat from two or so feet above her head then take a step back from her and toss the treat to her from in front of her, in an upward arch from just a short distance away, such as one foot. When she can catch treats from in front of her too, then gradually back up a bit every time that you practice this with her if she is doing well. Do this until she can catch the treat from the distance that you are trying to achieve, taking it one step at a time as she improves. It might also help to use larger, softer treats at first, so that it does not hurt if it hits her. I like freeze dried meat treats for this because it is light weight and dogs tend to love them. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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