Building difficulty

Once we’ve built a bit of duration in the muzzle using food, we’re going to activate those straps! Most dogs are going to feel a little unsure about this new criterion, so we have to take it slow and be extra patient. 

Here, you can see Salinger pulls his head out of the muzzle as soon as the strap touches the back of his neck. I try a few times to see if he understands that the way to get the food is to allow the strap to touch him while he remains in the muzzle. 

Bingo! He’s got it! I love watching dogs troubleshoot things in their mind. 

Now let’s partially do up the strap (I’m looping it through and holding in place while I feed with my opposite hand. 

After a few reps, he’s comfortable with me doing it up! I do it up and happy-talk like a cheerleader and get out the squeeze tube or 60cc syringe filled with gloppy goodness and he gets the paycheque of his lifetime! 

Look at his happy eyes. He only makes these eyes when he’s eating a stuffed frozen Kong or getting the best massage of his life. 

I’m going to repeat this step a few times a day for a few days.