Your trainer likely made the suggestion to hand feed your puppy.  This recommendation is based on the principle that we all work to achieve the things we want in life.  This philosophy will help build confidence in your puppy by giving them the ability to control outcomes in their environment.  We know this sounds like a lot of work but the reality is that rearing a happy confident dog takes intentional effort.  You likely already ration their daily meal at set times of the day so take a few minutes and a handful of dry food and spend a little time nurturing the behaviors you want your puppy to learn!  

Hand feeding your puppy will ensure that you are investing the kind of time it takes to have a dog that knows and respects the rules of the home.  Your puppy will learn that the good things in life come from you and that you are predictably awesome.  With food you will be able to reassure your puppy that it is safe to interact with new people and things.  You will become more aware of the communication strategies of your dog and be near enough to evaluate their feed back.  Most importantly, it will be easier for you to recognize when your puppy is overwhelmed.  



Grab 10 pieces of your puppy’s dinner and, standing in one place, offer him each piece, one at a time.  After you give all 10 treats, stop and reload.  Before you give your puppy the next treat, back away from him one or two steps.   Do this 3 times in a row and then stop and assess.

How did you puppy’s behavior differ between the 3 sets of repetitions.  Did you puppy’s behavior change while you were loading up for the next set?  


Think of all the time you’ll be spending with your puppy.  You’ll be teaching them to go potty outside, to share their belongings, and how to make new friends.  Food is valuable in all of these situations but it isn’t the only thing you can use.  Consider what your puppy enjoys doing and then consider all the different things your puppy will solicit from you through out the day.

What are some opportunities throughout your day where you can reinforce a specific behavior with a non-food reward?


Thank you so much for investing your time and energy into your new puppy.  These exercises are designed to help get you thinking about the daily contributions that must be made to move you closer to your goals.  Press ‘Finish’ to submit you

If you have any questions about your puppy or training program please call or text us at 913.712.8742. Join us remotely for our Weekly Q&A and Nail Trim sessions hosted on Zoom and streamed live through Facebook. On a tight budget? Check out our FREE courses available online.

Emily​ Coleman, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA​