How to Train Your Dog to Not Accept Food from Strangers

Hard
1-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

You've probably heard about someone's house being robbed despite having a dog. Usually, while the place was being shaken down, the pooch was out back munching on a delicious steak. Worse still are the stories of evil passers-by handing over hotdogs filled with poison through the fence to an unsuspecting canine. No matter what way you look at it, it's in your dog's best interests not to accept food from a stranger!

Defining Tasks

It can be pretty difficult to convince your furbaby not to eat a scrumptious treat. For the most part, dog poisoning is rare, but it does happen. People who are at high risk of this being an issue are those who are in neighborhoods with a lot of crime and those whose professions make them a target (like a police officer).

To start training a dog to avoid food from strangers, it's best to wait until the pup is an adolescent. The training can take weeks of daily sessions to perfect. You also have to take into consideration how broad of a spectrum of avoidance you're looking for. Do you want the dog only to take food from you? Should they eat only inside the house? Would you like to use a special bowl for eating? All of these factors will be at play during training.

Getting Started

Depending on how extensive your training is going to be, you're going to need a lot of stuff to prepare. Some things to help you along the way are:

  • A Whole Selection of Treats: Unless you only want your dog to abhor one specific food, you need to use a variety of tasty goods in your sessions. Get both common dog treats and people-food favorites (think cheese and hot dogs).

  • A Special Food Dish: If you're going to teach your dog only to eat from one bowl, get one that stands out a bit. It's also important to make sure that it can be easily replaced.

  • A Bad-Tasting Agent: Certain methods include the use of something that tastes awful to dogs. Hot sauce or bitter spray work well for this task.

  • A Disciplinary Collar: The more serious the training, the more likely that you will need to employ either a prong collar or an electric collar for corrections.

  • An Assistant: It's much easier to teach a dog this behavior if you have a stranger on hand to test out how things are going. Try to get someone that your pup has never met to help you.

  • A Leash: For some of these activities, a leash that extends and retracts works best.

  • Lots of Dedication: To complete food avoidance training, you're going to need to devote time for at least one session a day. And don't expect this to happen overnight. It may take weeks before your pooch understands what's going on.

If there is a very real risk of your dog being poisoned or if his duty is to guard a property, the dog's life may depend on him being able to refuse food from strangers. In this instance, negative consequences must be used to help the canine associate foreign food with unpleasant things. Keep the corrections controlled, and be sure to research safe techniques.

Below are some of the most effective ways to teach your furry friend not to trust food from unknown people. They vary in severity and in effectiveness, so see which method matches your needs the best.

The Spicy Treat Method

Effective
0 Votes
Spicy Treat method for Not Accept Food from Strangers
Step
1
Grab some treats
Pick a generic dog biscuit that is available at most grocery stores.
Step
2
Apply the sauce
Put your bad-taster on the treat. Use a decent amount to get the point across.
Step
3
Cue the assistant
Have your helper offer the zesty cookie to your pooch.
Step
4
Give a verbal warning
As your four-legged friend scarfs down the secretly spicy treat, give a loud, firm “no” command.
Step
5
Plant a treat on the ground
Take another spicy or bitter treat and place it just off the sidewalk.
Step
6
Lead your pooch by
As you go for your walk, head past the trap. Allow your dog to eat the cookie.
Step
7
Say “No” again
While the treat is still in his mouth, say “no” in a firm tone.
Step
8
Repeat!
Do both of these scenarios over until your dog grasps the concept. It usually does not take long.
Recommend training method?

The Shocking Experience Method

Effective
0 Votes
Shocking Experience method for Not Accept Food from Strangers
Step
1
Plant the bait
Choose a few extra tempting treats and put them in three separate areas of your backyard, all that can be easily seen from a window.
Step
2
Put on the training collar
Pick a time that you know your dog will be hungry. It's also important that you dedicate an entire day to this method and fully understand the proper use of a remote training (shock) collar.
Step
3
Give the first buzz
Once your dog starts to go to a treat, you're going to want to buzz him for one second. Wait until he's about half a foot from the food (and be sure he doesn't see you!)
Step
4
Wait for the second try
It may be a bit of time before your pooch approaches the next treat. But when he does, be ready. This time, employ three seconds of correction at the same distance from the food.
Step
5
Third time's the charm
You're going to have to sit around for a while for this one. But when your pupper finally goes for that last treat, it's time for the final shock. And this one should be a full five seconds of electricity.
Step
6
Feed your dog
Bring your hard worker in and feed him his dinner out of a bowl.
Step
7
Repeat
Do the same exercise the next day. If you're successful, you can add more types of food for your dog to avoid, and practice in different locations.
Recommend training method?

The Safe Bowl Method

Least Recommended
1 Vote
Safe Bowl method for Not Accept Food from Strangers
Step
1
Set up the food
Put several dishes of food out in your yard. Use a bunch of different tasty temptations.
Step
2
Put on the prong
Clip on your dog's prong collar and attach the lead.
Step
3
Walk near the food
Go close enough that your pooch can smell the bait.
Step
4
Correct him
As the dog goes for the goodies, Give the leash a sharp, short pull and say “no”.
Step
5
Practice
Repeat this lesson until your dog catches on.
Step
6
Remove the bowls
Try the exercise with the food laying right on the ground. Switch up the bait using common dog lures.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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