By The Sweat of Your Brow You Will Eat

Abby, “Mom, give my food now.”

When I was a kid, my mom used to say over and over again, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat,” and I had absolutely no clue what she was talking about.  In my defense, I was 6 years old at that time.  Anyway, now I understand what she meant and this is something that also applies to our canine companions.  By the way, do you see that pair of socks on the floor?  I left them there on purpose.  Why?  So Abby can go and play with them and I can correct her.  She won’t learn unless she makes mistakes.

Abby, “Mom, you have my undivided attention.”

Notice the distance between Abby and me, but remember that she has been with us for almost 2 months so this was not an overnight thing.  I started with very little distance and now I’ve increased it.  The hand signal is for her to stay and this is why Basic Training is important.  Look at Abby’s eye contact.  Perfect!

Abby, “Oh boy, when will I eat?”

Now is a good time to feed her.  I started by feeding her in her kennel and then outside the kennel.  Next time I’ll post what she does prior to sitting pretty like that.  Why?  Because she goes bananas and she has learned that she will not eat until she is calm.  As you can see, Abby does work for her food, or should I say sweat?  And just so we are clear, this is a combination of behavior and training.  We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but little by little we are getting there.  Do you make your dog work for his food?  If so, how?  Enjoy your weekend.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. ~Proud to be Step~ says:

    We make our puppy sit for her food and we are working on her being still but food makes her so exited that she isn’t able to sit AND stay! We’ll get there!

    1. Marcela says:

      Great. Continue working on it. It took a while for Abby to do that:-) Happy Holidays

  2. nissetje says:

    I make my dogs work for lots of stuff, and they love it. Especially now that the winter is getting cold; with less physical exercise, they need more mental exercise! And they are so proud of themselves when they get it right. 🙂

    1. Marcela says:

      Excellent. Yes, winter time limit the amount of physical exercise they get, but you still can mentally stimulate them.. Great job!

  3. creativecritters77 says:

    My boys have to sit and stay, then wait until I say OK before they can eat. Ziggi is absolutely food motivated, so this type of training works best for him. Dewey Dude isn’t as motivated by food, but the praise that he gets when he does it right makes him SO happy and willing to learn new things 🙂

    1. Marcela says:

      Excellent. I am glad your furry kids “work” for their food:-)

    2. gidzmo says:

      I think Kita might be food-motivated. I tell her to “come”, and she might come. If I have a treat, she WILL come–and sometimes running!

      1. Marcela says:

        Lol. Sounds like Abby when we just got her.

  4. hdemare says:

    What a great post. We make Mongo work for treats. He gets a treat for bringing in the newspaper in the morning. Here in rainy Seattle, having a dog go out and retrieve the paper is a very handy skill. He also gets treats for helping me bring in the mail, and for carrying out out-bound mail, which he has been known to give directly to the letter carrier, who parks daily in front of our house.

    1. Marcela says:

      Wow! Ok., I am truly impressed. You should post about it with pics and details. It’d be so adorable to see that. Great job.

      1. hdemare says:

        We have a short video on you-tube. And here are the links to two posts on Mongo’s paper fetching ability, and the way he uses that giant noggin to outwit me. 😉

  5. gmyrberg says:

    Doing great. Some of the same things we’re working on. Dogs love working for rewards! Doggie games with goodies, right?

    1. Marcela says:

      Yes, and it also makes your dog work mentally. Have a great weekend:-)

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