We stock lots of goodies for humans so it's only fair we have some treats for fur babies too, right?
With that in mind we ordered some Lick & Learn canine training aid tins from Winston & Porter.
And who better to test this new concept's efficacy and help me review them than our very own Shop Dog & all-round Best Boy Elvis.
Elvis is a chihuahua cross (or, if you will, a cross chihuahua as he can be a bit of a grinch) so I chose the tin recommended for small dogs (there are three sizes and two flavours available).
Elvis has been treat-trained since we rescued him a few years ago and I usually have a pocket full of crumbly biscuits so he is not averse to doing tricks for treats. He routinely has distraction-snacks to calm him when he perceives a threat and it's generally pretty successful if said treats are 'premium'. However, I wasn't sure how he'd respond to this new concept in rewards or if a lick would be diverting enough to work for him.
I unscrewed the tin (we opted for meaty flavour which smelled so good I could've licked it myself!) and Elvis had a little sniff, then a little lick and another and another. It was a hit! His little tail was wagging so I knew he was a fan already and we were onto something here.
The proof of the pudding is in the licking, so, I wondered, how would he respond to the tin when push came to shove?
When someone next came into the building (a trigger for Elvis to bark and get stressed) I put Lick & Learn to the test ... I tapped firmly on the tin lid, he paid attention, I opened it and he happily sat and give me a high five in anticipation. So far so good. I rewarded him with a little lick. We repeated the process until the 'threat' diminished and I put the lid back on the tin. Shortly after another trigger made Elvis begin to react so again I tapped the Lick & Learn tin. Elvis assumed his high five position and was a model dog. He wanted to bark and do his job (he is the best boy and guardian of his mummies after all) but he was definitely distracted and engaged by his licky tin.
These training aids aren't designed specifically for reactive dogs but they worked really well with Elvis. Hats off to Winston & Porter for their genius idea. I am totally impressed with this healthy training method as Elvis would normally only respond so positively if he was offered chicken or sausages (while it simply isn't practical to carry around cooked meat on a daily basis I can stash the meaty tin safely in my pocket) so it's a winner! Even better it's made in Northeast England so it's great to support and stock another local brand. There are no nasties in Lick & Learn - all the ingredients are natural (see the listing - link below - for all the details) and because your dog is licking, they aren't going to gain weight like they might with too many treats. Letting you pup lick is also a great way for your fur baby to bond with you so they're ideal for puppy training too.
Lick & Learn tins are available in our Saltburn shop and online and cost from £4.50 to £9.50.