Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Feeding Ritual

 At our home, the Feeding Ritual is very important. Mum uses the Feeding Ritual to teach dog manners, to wait, to surrender, to practice self-control, to show deference to the alphas, and to focus on the alpha, while staying in a calm submissive energy. We are fed twice, once at lunch and once at dinner.
 Gromit and Rummy practice the "Watch" while Rob handfeeds the dogs, one piece by one piece, both Rummy and Gromit taking turns at doing commands.
 Some pieces are first hand fed, and then after the training is over, the dogs are allowed to eat freely. Gromit comes forward to see Rummy being hand fed.
 Gromit practices the "Watch" command without flinching. He looks into Rob's eyes until he is "freed". He is doing so well, being so patient waiting for his turn.
 Rummy, Kimi and Gromit learn to eat at the same time, in the same location, in close proximity. This forces them to learn how to eat together, because eating together aids pack cohesion and communal activity. It also helps to discourage food possession or food aggression. Such bad behavior is just not acceptable in our pack. If anyone growls or shows teeth, he gets corrected with a touch to the shoulder or neck immediately.
 The dogs share food together, swapping bowls around, so no one eats out from one bowl alone.
 Gromit learns to share his food with Rummy. This is remarkable for Gromit because he used to have an issue with food. He would gulp his food without chewing and cause himself to choke. He would snarl, curl his gums and show teeth if anyone or any dog went too close to his food.
Everyone swaps bowls at the same meal. Taking turns to investigate what each other eats and finish whatever the other dog has left there.

So far, Gromit has been doing very well at the feeding ritual. His human will be so proud of him.



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