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It doesn’t matter if you have a puppy or a big dog – teeth are teeth. They can bite and hurt us when they get overly excited because of the treat we have for them in our hands. Who wouldn’t? A treat is a treat.

But, there is no need to lose your hand over it. And, then again, you really like your dog for being so excited, happy, and energetic. You don’t want to ruin that moment for him.

Don’t worry there is only one solution you will need. It is simple, and it works on all dogs – big, small, energetic, and lazy ones.

The best part is that you don’t need a professional dog trainer! You can do this at your home whenever you want. You can start right away after you finish reading this.

All you need is patience and dog treats. 

Teach Your Dog To Take Treats Nicely

dog taking a treat from owner's handdog taking a treat from owner's hand

You might ask, why bother with the treats anyway? Because they are very important during dog training and keeping your dog motivated to do what you taught him.

It’s your tool for keeping your dog happy while he does what you want him to do. So, treats are, in a way, your essential tools when you are a dog owner.

But, no one wants razor-sharp teeth or the tiny needle teeth of a puppy on their hands and fingers. 

Don’t worry – here’s what you need to do.

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1. Start With Kibble

Don’t give your dog something delicious right away. That will make him even more excited and give him more desire to quickly take the treat away from your hand.

So, start with a simple piece of kibble dog food. You don’t need any special kibble, just the regular one you use to feed your dog. 

If you’re not feeding your dog kibble, get some at the local supermarket – any brand is alright. You won’t be feeding your dog with it, just using it to teach him for a little while.

If you have a puppy, especially a small dog breed puppy, make sure you get appropriate kibble for their teeth. They won’t have as big of teeth as other larger dogs.

2. Put The Kibble On Your Palm

owner gives a treat to the beagle dog in the parkowner gives a treat to the beagle dog in the park

This is a very practical and important part of teaching your dog to take treats nicely. If they don’t know how to take the treat, they will use their teeth and bite your fingers when you put the treat between your fingertips.

However, you will do this: put a kibble at the base of your fingers on your palm and cover the kibble with your thumb. 

Now, you can show your hand to your dog, but don’t remove the thumb. Keep it hidden and let the dog sniff and lick your hand. Yes, there will be lots of slobbering during this training process.

3. Positive Reinforcement No. 1

If your dog is licking your palm while trying to get the kibble, and he is not biting you or putting his paws on your hand, reward him by saying: yes. Then, give him the kibble from your palm. Just remove the thumb and give the kibble to your dog.

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If your dog puts his paws on you, tries to nibble your hand, or bites you – don’t give him the kibble. Wait until he gets calm and stops trying to get the treat.

He will calm down eventually, but if you think it takes too long, just move your hand away from the dog. When he calms down, try again.

Read Next: How To Train A Pitbull Puppy Not To Bite?

4. Choose A Tastier Treat

dog waiting for a treat that woman gives to himdog waiting for a treat that woman gives to him

If you successfully give your dog kibble, meaning he didn’t bite you, he just licked your hand – it is time to find something more interesting.

Use a treat that you know your dog likes more than the kibble you gave him. You can try some dog cookies or kibble with a different flavor – the one your dog likes better.

Repeat the process: put the kibble on your palm and cover it with your thumb. Give the treat only if your dog licks your hand. Don’t forget to say a clear: yes, before giving him the treat.

5. It’s Time For A Real Treat

After a while, when you see your dog is improving, it is time to get your dog a real treat. When I say improve, it means that he has stopped using his teeth or paws completely while trying to get the treat.

For the last test and step in this training, choose a treat you know your dog will go crazy about. My dogs like cheese treats. They are good in many ways. They are tasty, and they have a strong smell that makes the dogs more excited.

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The process is the same:

  • Put it in the palm of your hand
  • Cover it with your thumb
  • Give the treat to your dog if he doesn’t use his paws or teeth

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6. Final Step

For the final step in teaching your dog to take treats nicely, put the treat between your fingertips as you would normally. This is the ultimate test. By now, your dog should have learned not to bite or use its paws. So, you are quite safe.

But, when it does happen – pull away your hand and don’t give him the treat. Wait until he’s calm again, and repeat the process as many times as needed.

The goal is, of course, to get to the point where your dog calmly licks the treat away from your hand.

Things You Shouldn’t Do

dog looking at treat in owner's handdog looking at treat in owner's hand

As you know, some dogs are more stubborn than others, and some dogs need more time to learn new things. This doesn’t make them less intelligent. I’d say all dogs are smart… there are just some that are smarter than most.

This means you will need to have patience while you teach your dog to take treats nicely. While you do it, there are three things you should avoid doing…

1. Don’t Hesitate

When you want to teach a dog any trick or type of behavior, being confident and clear about what you want is imperative. Your dog will be confused if you give unclear instructions. When it comes to teaching your dog to take treats nicely, don’t move your hand hesitantly away from your dog when he tries to take it with his teeth.

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Be firm, and use one motion to move your hand away from the dog. You are teaching him, which means it is important to show who is the Alpha in your home.

2. Don’t Tease

This is also very important during your dog’s training process. Don’t tease him with a treat in your hand. You know what I mean: showing him a treat, then moving your hand quickly away, then showing the treat again, and so on…

You won’t teach your dog anything by doing this. Keep it simple and clear. No teasing or tempting motions with your hand.

3. Don’t Yell

If your dog uses his teeth to get the kibble or treat from your palm (or later, from between your fingers), don’t yell, shout, and definitely don’t hit your dog.

Only use positive reinforcement to teach your dog how to take treats nicely. 

Be clear when you give him a reward only when he does the correct thing – taking the treat by using his tongue – not his teeth.

Read Next: Will My Dog Forgive Me For Hitting Him?

The Conclusion

If you want to teach your dog how to take treats nicely, all you need for that is this simple solution we talked about. You will find a lot of complicated methods that can only confuse both you and your dog, and make the process much longer.

These steps are easy to follow, and they can be done anywhere and at any time. You can do it during your free time, before sleep, after lunch… whenever you want.

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All you need are some kibbles, treats, and your dog. 

Don’t worry – your dog won’t mind the training process at all. After all… he is getting free kibble and treats. He will want to do it.

It is you who needs to understand that any training takes some time.

By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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