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Balancing Food on Your Dog’s Nose

moxie balancing multiple treats

This trick works best when your dog already knows the commands: Sit, Stay, and Leave It. The commands you will give are in bold for ease of reference. Good luck!

The first trick is actually just being able to lower the treat past their nose without them going after the treat. Begin with your dog in the SIT position. Starting approximately 1-2ft above your dog’s mouth, slowly lower a treat in front of their nose and tell them to LEAVE IT. You will most likely have to give a corrective sound and restart at the beginning many times, because your dog will want to eat the treat, before they master this step. You should reward your dog with praise and a treat when they are able to not try to grab the treat until you give it to them. They need some practice with impulse control in order to accomplish holding the treat on their nose without eating it right away.

Once you can lower the treat without them trying to take it you can start with the second trick. You want to slightly hold their muzzle in the palm of your opposite hand as you lower the treat slowly onto their nose. Tell your dog to STAY and give them a hand signal. Most people keep their hand rigid and extend their palm towards their dog as the hand signal for STAY. 90% of the time a dog will try to grab the treat when it touches them. So hold onto the treat once it touches their nose. If they get the treat by grabbing it or by you giving it to them then you just rewarded them at the wrong time and for the wrong behavior. You would then start the process over again until you can slowly let go of the treat then let go of their muzzle. You will need to repeat the STAY command (and should use a hand signal) until it is time for you to tell them to throw the treat in the air and eat it.

Thank you for reading our blog post. If you’s like to suggest another topic or have any advice for us please email us at Paws@MXPets.com. Have a great day!
~ Nikki Johnson