Dogs by nature are active scavengers. That’s just how they evolved and survived, way back then and even now in some circumstances. When they are on their own, they still beg, forage and steal. In a home with human companions, they often inhale a meal faster than you can say “dinnertime.” The behavior is hard-wired, and manifests itself to varying degrees based on situation and training.
But can you use this natural tendency to your advantage? At the same time, could you enhance their environment and strengthen your relationship? Well, and answer is yes, you can indeed, with very little effort and a little foresight!
Dogs Natural Scavenger Instinct For Behavior Training
Understandably, a dog owner could get frustrated about counter surfing, trashing the trash, or just plain whining at the table – not the kind of wine you want! Try replacing your dog’s food bowl with a food filled toy. That way you are asking your dog to work for their food, just as their natural instinct would dictate, but you are asking them to do so in a manner acceptable for human companions.
The pet product market is booming with enrichment toys. From hard rubber chew toys that can be stuffed with dinner, to puzzle boxes that allow for graduated learning, the range is wide. There are even food bowls specially designed to slow down your dog from eating too fast. You can even make your own homemade toys with muffin tins and plastic bottles.
Offering your dog “something to do” with a strong motivating incentive (i.e. food) is a very easy and effective way to prevent destructive misbehavior. It can also re-direct current misbehavior, reward quiet calm behavior, prolong meal time, reduce inhalation speed, and provide mentally stimulating activity to your dog.
Start off with something easy, and gradually make the task more challenging.
Food is a dog’s best friend and it is a powerful currency that can change your dog’s behavior…for better or for worse. Use it to your advantage!