3 tips on how to prevent snapping for food

Has your dog ever snapped at the food in your hand? Or did one of your fingers get caught between their teeth when you wanted to give your little friend a treat? Don’t worry, most of the time our dogs don’t mean any harm and there is no real biting going on. So that your fingers are safe from your dog’s teeth in the future and your dog can enjoy their food in a relaxed manner, we have 4 tips for you on how to prevent snapping at food.

1. Calmness

Prey that moves is interesting. This means that if you pull food or a toy away in a hurry, there is a high probability that your dog will snap at it. Especially children or people with a little fear of dogs usually pull their hands away before the dog has even had a chance to pick up the food. So in the meantime, the dog learns to be quick. The dog will snap at the food in your hand even faster so that it doesn’t miss the moment when the food is given. It is better to let your dog take the food from your hand calmly before you slowly pull your hand away afterward.

2. Feeding with a Flat Hand

Small treats can easily be mistaken for a finger. However, by holding your hand out flat to give your dog the treat, you automatically prevent your finger from getting between your dog’s teeth.

3. Feeding on Signal

As in many areas of dog training, you can use a command that signals to your dog that it’s allowed to take the food or not. To do this, place your dog in a position such as “sit” or “down” before holding out the food with a closed hand. If your dog tries to take the food from your hand, say “no”, but do not pull your hand away, wait until your dog calms down. If your dog nibbles too hard on your hand, you can also put on gloves. Your dog mustn’t succeed with this behavior! However, if your dog withdraws, you can open your hand and give them the food from the flat of your hand.

You can find detailed video instructions for the exercise “No is no” in the Pupy app under the category ” Mind your manners” and “Puppy training”.

By Sarah Mertes

Certified dog trainer