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Dog Poison Proofing
Poison proofing dogs can be a life-saving task to teach every canine companion. It can be especially important for guardian dogs like the fila brasileiro. If someone wants in your home or yard and they know you have a fila they also know they need some way to get through that dog. Poisoning is an easy way to achieve this since most dogs will eat just about anything on the ground.
There have been varying methods of poison proofing taught over the years. Many of them, when you think about it don't make a whole lot of sense. I will go through some of these briefly.
One method that used to be common was teaching the dog to only eat food fed by the owner. Okay. What happens when the owner gets in an accident and can't make it home for days or the owner decides to go on vacation and needs to board the dog? Not very practical. Another method was to only feed the dog from the left hand. The theory was that most people are right-handed and would offer Fido food from the wrong hand.
Well, I guess this is okay if there were never any left-handed burglars. The other most common method was to teach the dog to only eat from a certain bowl or type of bowl. This had its own flaws as well. If you teach Fido to only eat from one bowl you are in trouble if that bowl breaks or gets lost! What if something happens and someone else needs to feed the dog and they don't have this bowl available? Once again, Fido will go hungry.
So what is a more practical way to achieve poison proofing? Though there is no totally flawless method, there is one that is much more practical and works well in most cases. This is what I have found to be the best over the years. This is teaching your dog not to eat, pickup or mouth ANYTHING on the ground. Another aspect is that the dog only eats when it is told it can eat. Giving a command like "Okay" is simple to remember and to teach.
Poison proofing takes a lot of time, consistency, and patience. It can take months for your dog to be totally poison proofed and reinforcement lessons should be given. So how do you start poison proofing your dog?
First, you need to start with basic obedience. You need to have a relationship with your canine companion. Basic obedience commands will give you a foundation to start.
Some basic rules to remember as you get started are:
Before starting to poison proof you need to teach your dog the "Okay" command. Whenever you feed your dog make him/her sit or stand quietly. I prefer "sit." Once Fido is sitting tell him/her "Okay" in a happy voice and put the food bowl down. No need to tease him/her and try to make this into a game of Simon Says. Just every time you feed your dog make him/her sit and then tell him/her "Okay." Also do this with treats. I always make my dogs work for any treats they get. This can be a simple "sit" and then say "Okay" and give the treat. Start this at least one week before starting your formal poison proofing lessons. Remember to do this every time you feed from here on out.