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How to Train Your Dog When Feeding a Raw Diet

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If you’re feeding your dog a raw diet, you invest too much in keeping them healthy to feed them junk food, even for the sake of training them… and with our creative tips, you won’t have to!

Lifestyle Habits

Being professional dog trainers, we look at it as not only an activity but a way of life.  There are so many different ways that we each interact and live with our dogs that can either help or hinder our goals… it is in what we do (or don’t do) in our day-to-day life that predicts how successful we are in training our dog to be well-behaved.

It’s best to start with a plan.  Pay attention to what your current daily routine is and audit it to see where you have room to improve.   If you’re feeding a raw diet, be sure you know what time to start thawing their food for the following day or how long it takes to rehydrate a meal.

Make sure that the frequency, amounts, and times are agreed upon and understood among all members of the household.  Develop a system for communicating your dog’s intake that works for everyone to keep track and avoid under or overfeeding.


Activities & Exercises

Since training is always happening, it’s important to know what things can be implemented into our routine to reach our training goals so that we’re not left asking where we’re going to find all this extra time!

Instead of feeding them all their meals in a bowl, use one or both mealtimes as a training opportunity.  We’d be using food/treats to train them anyway; you might as well do double duty.

The wonderful thing about feeding Steve’s Real Food is that we have plenty of options to use as a stand-in for training treats… and the formulations are similar enough to be unlikely to cause tummy upset:

  • NEW! Protein Bites (Fermented and Freeze-dried treats to boost gut health)
  • Freeze-Dried Raw Nuggets
  • Quest Cat Food (Bite-Sized, Prey Model Diet Nuggets)
  • Cut up Frozen Raw Patty

If you don’t have time to actively work their brains, let them do it themselves!  You can squish their food into a lick mat, a food-dispensing toy, or a safe bone and they can learn some independence as well (which is equally important to teach them).  And you can buy yourself even more time if you freeze it first!

Learn What and How to Train

Even more important than what we use for training, is when we are training… and because we believe it’s a lifestyle, we encourage pet parents to use the things your dog wants throughout the day to teach them the things that you want from your dog.

Don’t just give them a treat because they’re cute… have them do something for it!  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Have them sit before giving them anything
  • Make them wait to be released for their food
  • Call your dog to you for a treat
  • Give them a piece of their food every time they go into their crate
  • They have to stop jumping up to get the ball before you throw it
  • The fun stops if teeth are felt on your skin

No matter what you’re doing, whether it be socializing your puppy during that stage in their development (8-16 weeks), teaching them obedience, or reinforcing good manners, nothing will help you reach your goals faster than being consistent with them.

If you’re interested in learning more about consistency, we welcome you to check out our free webinar:
“The 3 components of Training your Dog to be Well-Behaved through consistency”

  • Gaining the confidence to know What to Do AND When
  • The #1 way to get your dog to Listen to You
  • How to continue consistency around Other People


We wish you all the training success and congratulate you for doing what’s best for your dog’s health… You really don’t have to sacrifice your principles to train your dog to be well-behaved.

~ By: Jenny Schneider, OnDog Training Academy

{Side Note: Our dog is an intact male Belgian Malinois turning 7 years old on March 1st, 2023, named, “Luda”… short for Ludacris, with AKC registered name of “Mohawk’s Southern Hospitality”}

 


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