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Teach your puppy to wait for permission to access things that he wants
Get It Bowl

Puppy should learn to offer you attention instead of grabbing and snatching things in his environment. With practice, he will also be able to walk away on a loose leash from desirable items – learning the valuable and counter-intuitive lesson: “move away from the thing to get the thing”.

In this activity, you practice with a bowl as an easy-to-control metaphor for “anything your dog wants”.

TEACH YOUR DOG HIS “PERMISSION” WORD: (In the video, we are using “Get It” to give the dog permission to eat the treats from the bowl.) Gently restrain puppy around the chest. Place several treats into a bowl two or three feet away. When puppy shows interest in the bowl, say ‘Get It!’ and then release puppy. Do this at least three or four times, until puppy is racing to the bowl.

OFFERED ATTENTION: Hold puppy’s leash and place treats in the bowl. WAIT! There is no need to tug on the leash, prompt puppy, tap your leg, or smooch. It’s important that puppy figures this out for himself. When puppy glances or looks at you, say ‘Get It’ and release puppy to the bowl. (It can help for you to stand beside puppy rather than behind – it is easier to get that first glance.)  Repeat until puppy is consistently (and convincingly) looking to you for permission to run to the bowl.

MOVE AWAY FROM THE THING TO GET THE THING: Leaving something he wants is one of the most difficult things that we can ask puppy to do. When puppy looks at you, call him away. This will be tough the first time (see video). When puppy comes away with you, reward him first from your hand, then by giving him permission to run back to the bowl.

MIX IT UP: Puppies and dogs can’t always be rewarded with the thing that they want. You cannot send puppy back to a chicken bone on the sidewalk, or to jump on a child with an ice-cream cone, or to grab a ball in the street. Make sure that you are able to choose the reward each time for your puppy. Sometimes, the reward comes from you. Other times, he is allowed to go back and get the bowl (or whatever it is he so politely left).

This dog has learned to look to the owner to ask permission to say hello to other dogs on leash walks. It’s the same concept as the Get It Bowl. Rather than just pulling toward the other dog, he offers attention to his owner as a way to say “may I?”

The owner has practiced this game with the Get It Bowl, and also with greetings with dogs and people. The dog understands that “Go Say Hi” means that he has permission to greet. He has learned that pulling toward what he wants never works, only by being polite will he get what he wants.

It is up to the owner whether the dog is to be rewarded by being told “Go Say Hi” or if they will walk on… “Let’s Go!” Either way, the dog is rewarded.

The only purpose for the leash in this activity is to control the puppy's access to the bowl, and to teach him that pulling doesn't work. It is not necessary to jerk or pull on the leash to correct the puppy's 'wrong' choices... it's enough to make sure they are ineffective! Be gentle with the leash, use it only to gently control puppy's movement without hurting or scaring him.