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Anti-poison bait training - how it works

You've had a relaxing walk during which your furry friend has explored the environment in a lively and interested manner, but when you get home your darling suddenly starts whimpering and writhing in pain - he has eaten a poisoned bait: an absolute horror scenario for every dog owner.

Julia from the We love HUNTER team:

"On a walk with my Gipsy, I have also found poison bait before: A sausage with several small nails. I was totally shocked - who would do such a thing? Of course I took the bait with me and took photos. Then I called the police, who recorded everything and shared another warning on social media and posted it on the dog forum from my area. It's hard to imagine what could happen".

Anti-poison bait training can save your four-legged friend's life in an emergency. He learns not to eat everything that falls in front of his wet dog nose during walks and in everyday life. Unfortunately, dog haters who want to harm our pets and even do not shy away from poisoning them with bait are not uncommon. We show you how to proceed!

It's best to teach your dog in puppyhood not to eat anything off the floor without your permission or to indicate when he has found something interesting. For hoover dogs who will eat anything - edible or not - anti-poison bait training is particularly useful. With our step-by-step guide, your anti-poison bait training should work:

What you need:

  • Treats as a reward
  • other treats as bait
  • short leash
  1. Change the relationship with food: First of all, it is important to change your dog's behaviour towards food. He should learn that he doesn't have to eat everything he discovers - because he won't starve if he doesn't eat the piece of sausage roll that a hungry walker has lost. It will be incredibly difficult for your furry friend to give up this appetising prey, which is why you should offer him a tasty alternative in such cases.
    Teaching your voracious four-legged friend to feel differently about food starts at home: You can show him that he doesn't have to gobble up his food in a hurry, but that he can munch at a leisurely pace. He should also only be allowed to eat when he has your permission.
  2. Bait: The second step of your training is to place bait. Place the bait in a place where you will pass by during your subsequent walk. Lures should be treats that are tempting for your furry friend but that he can resist. So it shouldn't be a super snack like a stuffed meatball with cheese. Once you are outside together, you need to pay attention: if you are so close to the treat that your four-legged friend notices it, the training begins.
  3. Taboo: This attention from your pet is the signal for you: Keep the leash short and use your foot to gently push your dog away from the temptation. At the same time you can use a taboo word like "Leave it!". You can now walk around the treat, but your pet is not allowed to eat it.
  4. Reward: If your pet has done well, you should praise your four-legged friend profusely and effusively for resisting the treat on the floor. You can praise with your voice and with other treats that he can eat from your hand.
  5. Repeat: Repeat this exercise ideally three times a week for about 10 minutes. This is the only way your fluffy darling can internalise that food from the floor is taboo for him.
  6. Increase: If you have successfully mastered this exercise several times, you can increase the level of difficulty. Now the bait treat should be even more irresistible: think big! Poison baits are mainly found in super treats like liverwurst. You can also give out several lures at once, all of which your fur nose must not give in to.
    You can also increase the training by having your dog perform a command as soon as he becomes aware of a treat: the so-called alert behaviour. Your dog can indicate a find by, for example, sitting. Always give him the corresponding command as soon as he becomes aware of the treat. He will quickly internalise this behaviour and soon perform it on his own.
  7. Play: It is important to have fun during training. You can also support the anti-poison bait training through play. It does not mean that search games with treats are forbidden from now on. However, these rules should be followed:
  • Only give treats in places where you are sure there is no danger for your pet. It's best to search the ground first.
  • Let your dog sit while you pass out the treats. This way your dog will see that you have something ready for him.
  • Only after you have given your permission may your dog search for with its nose and eat food only in the meadow you have selected.

Our tip: To give your active dog less opportunity to eat everything that crosses his path on walks, you can practise various tricks with him. This way you can keep him busy and keep his attention on you. In the case of particularly voracious furry friends who are difficult to train, a dog training school can support you and give you individual tips. If the temptation is too great for your pet and he eats something that seems strange to you, don't hesitate to have him examined by a vet.

Poison bait protection for dogs - what you can still do

The sooner you start training, the better! But you as a dog owner will know it: In everyday life there is not always enough time to practise everything necessary. A quick alternative to anti-poison bait training is therefore a muzzle: it protects your four-legged friend from eating something dangerous and you can approach the training in a more relaxed way.

Conclusion: To avoid poisoning and life-threatening situations with your four-legged friend and to enjoy your walks without fear, anti-poison bait training is important. As always with dog training, with a little patience and the right amount of repetition, you will soon no longer have to be nervous when your furball starts sniffing. Have you ever come into contact with poisoned bait yourself? Tell us how your four-legged friend coped with the situation! We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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