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Dog Confessions: Train The Trainer

I’m embarrassed to admit that I have been a victim of the “train the trainer” syndrome. Let me start from the beginning so you will understand my dilemma.

I am one of the founding owners of BARF World Inc., and am responsible for formulating the current BARF World raw meat diets. I have been manufacturing and selling these formulas for over 35 years and have been pleased over the years to see the amazing health improvements that result from eating our diets. That is the key to my concern…because in order for the diet to do its magic, the dog has to be able to consume the product.

This has historically never been an issue because the palatability of my formulas has been far superior to most any other product on the market. In fact, most dogs will perform what we call the pet patty dance. This happens when the refrigerator door is opened at feeding time and the dogs, in a display of excitement, do their exotic dance for you. I have observed this dance so many times that I now expect this to happen when any new customer starts to feed one of our raw meat diets.

Once in a while we are faced with a customer whose pet decides to play hardball. A dog may choose not to eat our diet for several reasons:

  • Maybe the dog is an exceptionally picky eater and has been enticed to eat the tasty fat sprays that the kibble diet manufacturers use.
  • Maybe there is an underlying medical issue that has created a reduced desire to eat anything.
  • Maybe the dog is turned off because of the consistency or the texture of the product.

These are the most common reasons for the turn off, but today, I have to share another reason that I have discovered with my own dog. Can you imagine being the developer of a diet that your own dog refuses to eat? My dog is a Maltese/Yorkie mix that has obviously learned the “train the trainer” trick.

She is smart as a whip and has quickly learned that by training us to feed her from the table, she gets a more enjoyable meal. She doesn’t really beg for food but her eyes tell the story that she is hungry and my wife gives in to her and slips her the desired morsels (okay…I do too). So, as a result, she is less likely to find her bowl of nuggets to be the food of choice.

I preach to everyone not to fall into this trap and now find myself a victim of the process. We have decided to try and UN-train her from doing this but since we have been trained so well by her, we are finding she is smarter than we are. We are making some headway by putting her food down and if she doesn’t eat the food right away we take it away from her and put it back in the refrigerator and then put it out for her a while later. Now she is starting to get the hint that if she refuses her meal, that she will be going without until the next time. It’s time to un-train the trainer.

Has anyone else had to go through the un-training process? I would believe so!

Rob Mueller and RoxieRobert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. He and his wife love to travel around the world with their dog, Moxie – a Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese mix. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” monthly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.

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  1. Dogs don’t run like video games. It’s not like How many coins do I have to collect to pass the level?’ how many lveels before I beat the game?’ It isn’t like that.You COULD get an akita or shiba now, but you shouldn’t. They say they’re not good dogs for the first time handler and that;s true. But this means that the aren’t for the uneducated owner. If you’ve owned ten dogs before but never actually learned much about them and weren’t he one who cared for them you won’t do well with an akita or shiba because well, you still don’t know how. Both are hard to train and independant. There’s not really one way they act. It depends on the individual dog but on average shibas are very independant, smart but defiant and stubborn and akitas are good family dogs when they trained but can be agressive and hard to control. You train them with great difficulty. For a first dog get a labrador. They’re great dogs and most people like them. Go for a lab!

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