FitDog Friday #1 – Portion Control

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Every morsel of food that goes in Mr. N’s mouth is earned*. No freebies for being cute. Unless we’re working on a new trick, it’s usually a couple of tricks before he gets a treat. Sit. Down. Roll over. Dance. High five. Back. Spin.

He waits in either a sit or down stay for his meals for at least a minute. I’ll do quick errands in the meantime like unloading the dishwasher or doing a load of laundry. He is expected to hold the position even when I am out of sight.

Working for food provides mental stimulation for Mr. N and helps us regulate his food intake. I usually have a prescribed amount of treats and we train until the treats run out. Sometimes I’ll use part of his meal to train with if I think he has had too many calories for the day.

People (usually men) who watch me giving a treat to Mr. N will ask is that all you’re giving him? Why yes. If I gave him “normal”-sized treats, he would be waddling instead of walking. I usually have to cut up the treats or tear them to the right size. They usually end up about half the size of a pencil eraser or smaller.

It’s about quantity over quality. Dogs would rather have more small treats than a few big ones.

*Except for the food that he finds on the street. I have pried bacon from his mouth. He was not a happy pup. Who throws away bacon on the sidewalk?

What do you mean I can’t eat all of these?

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6 Responses

  1. SlimDoggy

    August 23, 2013 2:07 pm

    So glad to read about your regime. All your ideas around portion control are great and combining it with mental stimulation is so good for Mr. N. You can tell – look how happy and healthy he looks! Thanks for joining our Hop.

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  2. SheSpeaksBark

    August 23, 2013 4:17 pm

    Our Scooter is not motivated enough by food (unless we're talking about hot dogs) for that to be a relevant way for us to train him often. Bear on the other hand, works just like Mr. N for his food. It keeps him up to par on his manners, and helps make sure he's not adding on extra pounds. We'll sometimes do bits of fruit or veggies for treats too to mix things up.

    Did you hear that two dogs have died in Portland from intentionally poisoned foods someone left on the street? One was a meatball, not sure about the other- be careful Mr. N! We've been super extra extra vigilant especially near downtown and have been practicing our 'leave it' like crazy

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