Food for Thought: Tactical Treat Delivery for Fearful Dogs

Overreactions among our pets, as well as aggressive and fearful behavior, seem to become more common with each passing year. There are a variety of techniques for addressing these kinds of behavior, and fortunately, many of these techniques use food in one way or another. Unfortunately, errors in how the food is presented can greatly reduce the effectiveness of these techniques. This Session explores how to optimize the effectiveness of several common training techniques by improving treat timing and delivery. Topics covered in this presentation include: food delivery position proper order of events preventing aversive stimuli from “mixing in” with the food how to maximize choices offered to an animal, even when food is present the use of food as an emergency distraction Through this Session, you will gain a more thoughtful approach to the presentation of food, both in the context of undesired behavior and in more “ordinary” training contexts. This Session includes videos and examples.

Irith Bloom

Irith Bloom, KPA CTP, CPDT-KSA, CDBC, CBATI, VSPDT, has been training animals since the 1980s, and has worked with everything from chickens and rabbits to dogs and horses—not to mention humans. A biologist by training, Irith continues to be fascinated by the science of learning, and loves taking part in conferences and seminars.

Irith has presented at a variety of conferences, including ClickerExpo and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) Annual Conference, and has given webinars for the APDT and the Society for Veterinary Behavior Consultants. She has also written numerous articles for ClickerTraining.com, and has been published in The APDT Chronicle of the Dog and Everydog. Irith is a member of the Steering Committee of the Los Angeles County 2020 Healthy Pets Healthy Families Coalition, a One Health Initiative focused on improving the health and well-being of pets and their people. She also volunteers with National English Shepherd Rescue.

Irith is the owner of The Sophisticated Dog, a pet training company based in Los Angeles, California, that specializes in private training and behavior consulting. She shares her home with a rescued English shepherd named Franklin and her husband Aaron (not a rescue).