Author Topic: Allowing treats from others  (Read 1088 times)

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Offline Tara

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Allowing treats from others
« on: March 08, 2017, 02:18:56 PM »
Buddy and I just walked to the liquor store and the casher had little milkbones and I let her give him one. He also got a treat from the cashier at Petco on Sunday. This obviously doesn't happen everywhere, and won't become a habit.

Should I let him have small treats from trustworthy strangers?

Do you allow your SD to get treats from people like store employees?
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Offline Kirsten

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Re: Allowing treats from others
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2017, 02:27:35 PM »
This choice depends on several factors.  Generally (meaning most of the time, but there are exceptions) it is best not to allow people other than you and your designated backup handlers to give the dog food because it will help the dog to have a clearer understanding of what the presence of food means to him as a working dog.  When things are more clear (more black and white, all or nothing), it's generally easier for a dog to grasp and comply.

Some dogs and some partnerships will not find allowing others to give treats to be burdensome for the dog's ability to clearly understand "the rules."  Some dogs can handle grey areas better than others can and some handlers can communicate nuance better than others can.

Here's the basic test:  if it does not negatively impact your dog's ability to do his job, then it's plain personal preference (whether or not you feel like allowing it). 

As a courtesy to other teams, it would be a good idea to drop some sort of comment along the lines of "most service dogs are not allowed to take treats from anyone but their handler while they are working to avoid confusing them and making their jobs harder for them, but my dog is allowed if I tell him he has permission because he can handle it."  It's very annoying to tell someone they can't pet my dog or can't give him a treat and get lectured by them about how this other service dog did it.  So for me, I will generally remove my dog's vest when I allow him to do non-standard service dog behaviors and I explain that this behavior is usually not permitted in order to reduce the likelihood I will be the root of someone else getting argued with about their rules for their own dog.  Does that make sense?
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Offline Tara

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Re: Allowing treats from others
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2017, 02:37:00 PM »
Thanks Kirsten, I'm very new to SD things (even though I have been on the forum since August of last year and have had Buddy that long, too).

He was just a "normal" dog at Petco, so I didn't see a problem and I allowed it. He was being a very good boy by listening and following my directions.

We're really just starting PA work, so I will have to pay attention to if it affects his job or not. That's good advice. I know there's rarely one clear cut answer for everyone.

I will also try to educate on the fact that not all SDs are allowed treats(/petting) from others when they are working.

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Offline Kirsten

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Re: Allowing treats from others
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2017, 02:46:14 PM »
Tardis gets treats at our favorite pet store, but when I take him there I strip his gear off in the car and we go in in "pet mode."  I expect him to listen when I tell him something, but we both recognize this is different than public access, that it is a place where he can let his fur down.  Not everyone will handle it that way.  I do.  The shop owners are friends.

I suggest teaching your dog a verbal cue that tells him it is okay to accept the treat and then proofing him so that he refuses treats that are offered unless he hears the cue from you.  Odds are you will encounter people in the future who will offer your dog food you do not want him to take or be distracted by.  QS told a story of a stranger giving her dog a hamburger without her permission.  I had one offer Cole summer sausage to disobey me.  Sigh.
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Re: Allowing treats from others
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2017, 04:00:30 PM »
The liquor store is pet friendly? I wouldn't think so. It would be odd to me for a store that is not pet friendly to have a supply of dog treats on hand. If the cashier is pulling them out of her own personal stash, I'd politely decline. I generally decline treats unless it is at a pet store and I see treats come out of a box. I'm rather paranoid though. I also don't accept water, even on hot days. I will take Jubi's collapsible water dish into the bathroom and give her some from the sink. I was told a story from a decade or more ago about a service dog who was poisoned by a waitress offering him water. From the source I heard it from I have no reason to believe it to be false, but even if it was, I'd rather be safe than sorry on ingestibles.
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Offline Tara

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Re: Allowing treats from others
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2017, 04:07:13 PM »
She had a baggie of dog treats behind the register. She said sometimes people bring their dogs in and she likes to give them a treat. It's not "pet friendly" per se, but they don't have food, just packaged liquor and smokes. It's a super laid back store with a very friendly staff and is located out of the way on a highway service road. It's not far from my house, so my mom frequents it and on the rare occasion I buy some clove cigs that's where I go.
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Offline BillBRNC

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Re: Allowing treats from others
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2017, 07:56:59 AM »
I guess I differ some with Kirsten, but I don't let Doc get anything including treats from anyone other than me, and I only give him what I have checked out as best I can. I get some odd looks from merchants and such, but I just thank them very nicely and decline. They seem to get it, particularly if Doc is vested at the time, and I don't take Doc into any type of place without his vest. Maybe out for a short walk in the neighborhood, but not really anywhere where we might run into the world. Just saying.
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Re: Allowing treats from others
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2017, 08:06:28 AM »
The liquor store is pet friendly? I wouldn't think so.

As long as the dog isn't driving.
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Offline Sheenar

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Re: Allowing treats from others
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2017, 10:04:31 AM »
I politely decline offers of treats and explain that he has food allergies --and people are generally understanding.

With my last dog, I had a Petsmart worker give him a treat without asking while I was at the ID tag kiosk making tags (had just moved into my current apartment) and, of course, Leon broke out in a rash when we got home --worker got a good example of why not to just give dogs treats without asking their people. Thankfully, Petsmart covered Leon seeing their Banfield vet the next morning for steroid shot and super Benadryl shot to help with the reaction.

After having Leon --the dog who reacted to just about everything --and with Zeus also having some allergies (wheat and chicken as well as corn), I don't let anyone give Zeus treats or food (one of my Sunday school teachers gave him cheese at a class pool party last summer--which I quickly snatched from Zeus' mouth-- and I had to let him know firmly but kindly --and with respect --not to give him food). I only give Zeus treats I bought myself and his kibble --and an occasional cow's ear chew or other chew I bought myself.
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Re: Allowing treats from others
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2017, 10:13:23 AM »
The liquor store is pet friendly? I wouldn't think so.

As long as the dog isn't driving.

Huh? What about a dog not driving makes a liquor store pet friendly? Dogs don't drive to begin with. So liquor stores are only not pet friendly if the dog drives themselves there? Is this supposed to be a joke? I don't get it.
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Re: Allowing treats from others
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2017, 10:45:44 AM »
The liquor store is pet friendly? I wouldn't think so.

As long as the dog isn't driving.

Huh? What about a dog not driving makes a liquor store pet friendly? Dogs don't drive to begin with. So liquor stores are only not pet friendly if the dog drives themselves there? Is this supposed to be a joke? I don't get it.

Yes, it was meant to be a joke. Not much more to it than that.
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Offline Azariah

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Re: Allowing treats from others
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2017, 02:29:58 PM »
I don't allow treats that I don't supply. I don't know where they came from.

If someone wants to interact with my service dog in training I let them know that if they want to wait until we are leaving the facility they are welcome to interact with her. That has worked for me and she hasn't gotten riled up when we leave a place. It is also when I let my own kids pet her. If she were to get riled up I would change that rule.

If someone else gives a treat (supplied by me) I make them set the treat in their hand rather than hand it to her to minimize risk of injury. I don't let kids or old people give her treats.

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Re: Allowing treats from others
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2017, 02:41:17 PM »
I usually thank them and accept the treat while offering to give it to him when we get home. Just pocket the treat and throw it away when you get home.

I usually say my dog is trained not to accept treats from strangers for his own safety. He's picky so unless you have a stinky, soft treat he'll spit it out.
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Re: Allowing treats from others
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2017, 02:46:05 PM »
Yeah, you have to be a bit careful with this one. Pet stores were usually OK, but I never let it happen with strangers. I knew someone who had a dog poisoned this way.
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Offline EmmaH

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Re: Allowing treats from others
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2017, 03:08:10 PM »
The liquor store is pet friendly? I wouldn't think so.

As long as the dog isn't driving.

Huh? What about a dog not driving makes a liquor store pet friendly? Dogs don't drive to begin with. So liquor stores are only not pet friendly if the dog drives themselves there? Is this supposed to be a joke? I don't get it.
Think it was a joke since humans arent supposed to drink and drive. And liquor store sells alcohol.