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A Dog's Dinner Time = Enrichment & Training Time!

Fitting in time to train your dog or puppy can be challenging – we all have busy lives. So here’s a tip to save you time and give Fido the training he needs: Simply turn your dog’s mealtimes into “Training Time!”

A dog enjoys finding his food in this game

4 Reasons Why Meal Times Make Great Training Opportunities

  1. Mealslastlonger!Putting food in a bowl usually means your dog inhales rather than eats the food! But using meal times to train or play games, makes dinner last longer.

  2. Mealtimes become fun rather than just functional. You give your dog the chance to learn, play, build their bond with you/

  3. Dogs are natural foragers; they enjoy working for their food and exercising their brain. In fact they ‘need’ brain stimulation so meal times are perfect to do just that.

  4. If you’re going to be giving food to your dog anyway why not maximise the opportunity?

Be Your Dog’s Hero!

If you’re not using Fido’s mealtimes as training opportunities then you – and your dog – are missing out. Whether you have a young pup, a feisty adolescent or a senior canine citizen – all dogs enjoy using their brain in fact your dog craves mental stimulation; as with humans your dog’s brain is a muscle and it wastes if it’s not exercised. Dinner time training is an easy fix.

And many clients also find that dinner time training has other positive consequences too:

  • Their dog settlesmore easily

  • Their dog is moretuned in to them and focuses better when out and about

  • Their dog is calmer – less barking, less frenzied behaviour

Food = Fun

Dinner time training can be as creative and varied as you like. Maybe you work on husbandry activities eg practising putting the lead, collar, harness on calmly or nail clipping or grooming. Perhaps you work on refining a behaviour eg building your dog’s ‘stay’ or ‘drop’ or lead walking skills; You could even practise a chill-out activity like ‘go to your mat’. Or perhaps work your dog’s nose with some Scentwork games. Here’s how:

11 Mealtime Games

Click on the links to explore these fun mealtime games.

Let us know how you get on? Do send pics/videos of your doggie dinner time fun, we’d love to see them!

Article written by Joyful Dogs. If you would like help training your dog or puppy, contact

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