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People feed their dog every day at 7pm and wonder why the dog will not turn itself inside out for a food treat. Remove the food bowl from your dog’s life and watch motivation grow. There are many ways to improve a dogs value for food, most commonly people just starve their dog. I don’t have a real problem with that but of course there are limits and guidelines to everything.

One problem people don’t consider is that, when we eat less food our bodies sense this and go into a different metabolic mode. This basically means that the metabolism slows down meaning we feel less hungry.

For example if we go out and have a big meal at night, we wake the next morning very hungry. The excess food we have eaten speeds up our metabolism and the body desires more food or will feel hungry.

So having that said, if you simply starve your dog you will not achieve greater food drive, but you will slow your dogs metabolism down and due to the lack of food end up with a dog with less usable energy, hence less motivation!

I like to use the term “meal deregulation”. This to me means taking the predictability out of feeding times and amounts. Your dog will have greater value for treats if he or she is hungry and also is not certain of when the next meal will be.

Some Warnings

I will not play around with a dogs diet when the dog is ill, recovering from an operation or has a severe illness or has any resource guarding behaviour problems. These issues need to be addressed first and I want to start the dog on meal deregulation when the dog is healthy and has a responsive metabolism.

People who think they know lots about training will starve their dog to get performance increase, they don’t know, consider or care that the dogs immune system is backed by nutrition, so they could be messing up the dog big time.

If you fast your dog for a day or you reduce the dogs meals, always make sure that your dog has an unlimited source of fresh cool water.

Dehydration isn’t something were looking to create here.

Getting Started

I feed a Raw diet and I recommend that you do too, there are so many benefits it is hard to even consider feeding another way. This method is based on feeding a Raw diet, if you insist on feeding kibble then you will have to improvise some of the steps here.

Estimate how much food in weight your dog will eat per day, some guidelines are that active puppies will eat 3 – 5 % of their body weight per day and adult dogs 1 – 2% of their body weight per day.

Given this equation, say our puppy weights 3 kilograms (3000 gram x 5% = 150 grams of food.)

Choose the protein that you will be using, lets say its beef today.

All this is covered in my eBook on Raw Feeding.

You might get 150 gram chuck steak and cut it into small cubes, about 1.5cm square is good for most dogs except toy breeds. You have cut up your 150 grams now and it equates to about 60 small cubes.

Grab a rough handful of maybe 6 or 8 cubes and put it in a snap lock bag, do this until all the 60 pieces are distributed throughout several bags, you should have between 8 – 10 bags.

When your raising a puppy get use to living with a treat pouch on and place one of the bags in the pouch, the rest in the fridge.

Your ready to train, go to your puppy, lets say that its first up in the morning, so toilet your pup now, then say “ready” to your pup and as soon as you see them respond (at any level) mark yes or click and produce a piece of food.

As puppy comes to get it, move away from the pup making the puppy chase you down.

NOTE: Don’t have the food in view when you say ready or yes, only get the food out after you have said yes and the puppy is coming at you.

As the puppy chases you down for food, give them an audible stimulator such as comeoncomeoncomeoncomon, pupupupupuupuypup.

Celebrate with them as they “capture” their food and share ion this experience with them.

Next

The puppy will likely be looking for more, move away from the pup and watch what behaviours come out, as soon as the pup steps in the direction to follow you,  YES or click, move back and present food.

Progressively charge more, each time the pup gets a piece of food and wants more, a step wont be enough toward you, you want a run, you want enthusiasm, you demand drive.

Do this for as long as: –

A: the 8 pieces of food last

B: the pup drops off from 100%.

As soon as you see drive drop, even a little, end the game.

Regardless how it ended, I would (if your schedule permits) come out again in 90 minutes, do the same again.

If you for example have to go to work, play this game 90 minutes before you go to work and again just before you leave.

I run 2 hour consults most common here so will play every two hours with my pup, but if your work schedule wont allow this, 2 games in the morning, as many more as the pup can bare when you get home until you go to bed.

You still need to get the 150 grams of food into the puppy every day or close to.

By the third day if your doing it right, when you come into the puppies vicinity he gets excited, remember that we don’t trigger or generate drive by showing the food, so the only visual is you.

Your ready cue gets the pups attention and the yes sends the pup through the roof.

It is now that I diversify by adding the Behavioural Interrupter to the mix, simply all I do now is add a sound that I can make any time, like a click click sound with my tongue or a kiss sound with my lips, then mark yes then run the same feeding game.

This gives me a cue that I can use any time and the behavioral interrupter can act as a positive “leave it” cue.

Contract vs wages

Most dogs are on wages, regardless of performance they get paid, contractors work or they don’t get paid. This often means they look for work, will work when it isn’t convenient for them and will do a bit extra if it means a bit extra. They may even create or offer some work…

Disclaimer

I am not at your home or workplace when you are running the program, so the responsibility of your dogs well being is on you. This program when run with even a little common sense will cause your dog no harm, in fact it will likely end up with a much healthier metabolic rate and better auto immune system.

But not feeding your dog enough food and the dog losing weight has to be your responsibility.

If your dog isn’t behaving well, looks unhappy constantly, then contact me and I will help you find out why.

Generally though many people who have eager, focused dogs that are highly food driven use this program and have great dogs for it.

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