inspiration not deprivation - ditch the bowl

Photo by Devon Dogs

Inspiration not Deprivation: Ditch the Bowl

Do you struggle with the concept of using your dog’s daily food to train with or use for enrichment? Are you worried that this is depriving them in some way? We’re going to be sharing some of our thoughts to encourage you to look at ditching the bowl as inspiring rather than depriving.

Tip 1: Contrafreeloading

Check out the term contrafreeloading. This term describes the act of preferring to work and earn rewards, rather than getting it for free. Not only do dogs prefer to work for their food, but when they do, value for the food is added.

If you have a picky eater, the BEST way to develop them into a more food driven dog is to ditch the bowl and use their food for training games, fun and play!

Tip 2: Value Added to Relationship

Your dog’s daily food is like a pot of value. If you choose to spend that value working on training games, fun and play with you, you will enhance your relationship with your dog. Relationship is everything! Having a healthy relationship bank account is key!

Tip 3: So Many Skills, Only So Much Room in the Tummy!

Let’s face it, there’s always a skill that needs honing or a concept that needs enhancing. Training is an ongoing process, a journey. We are never done! And that’s exciting!

To us, training sessions have become entwined into our lives. It’s become part of what we do, training is infiltrated into our days! That said, dogs only have so much room in their tummies….unless they are a dog who can keep eating of course! ?

Feeding from a bowl and then working out ratios of training rewards can be really hard and can lead to a dog who is too full to work with you. Ditching the bowl simplifies daily food intake!

Tip 4: It’s Better for Digestion

Some who struggle with the ditch the bowl concept envisage that the dog only gets a couple bits of kibble here and there throughout the day. They are constantly being drip feed tiny, tiny amounts, meaning their tummies are always rumbling. Granted, we sometimes train multiple times in the day, for 3-5 minutes a time, but it is amazing how much food you actually feed in that short space of time!

Added to this, in terms of digestion it is better for your dog to have smaller more frequent meals, rather than 1 or 2 large meals in the day.

Tip 5: Brain Gym

Until today, we have mostly been discussing ditching the bowl in terms of using the food for training sessions, but we also use our dog’s daily food for enrichment feeding as well…

Things like:
⭐️Scatter Feeding
⭐️Food Puzzles
⭐️Hiding food for our dogs to find around the house
….to name a few

Playing enrichment games and training games with your dog will ensure you are giving their brain a really well rounded workout!

Read more of our Thursday Training Tips HERE. And check out the Devon Dogs Schedule of Events HERE.

Do you have a training issue you want to tackle? Come and stay with us in our cottage style apartments, right in the heart of Dartmoor, and make the most of our fantastic training facilities onsite.

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