Today we worked on "give" some more, mostly while he was outside playing with a ball. He does nip a lot, so I started off by tossing the treat a few feet away so I could get the ball without being nipped, but I slowly worked on handing him the treat and taking the ball at the same time.
We also worked a little on impulse control. It was supposed to be a "leave it" session, where you're supposed to step on a treat and wait for him to be distracted, then give it to him. Well, he was so excited when he saw the treat, that I couldn't even set it down without him trying to scarf it up. So I made him do a sit/stay and then I set the treat a few feet away from him, made him hold his sit a few moments longer, then gave him the okay to get the treat.
One of the problems I'm seeing with Turbo is he gets extremely worked up over treats.. more so than I think is normal.. not that I really know what "dog normal" is.
Well, the Nasty Trainer Lady was the one who told me to give him set meal times and take his dish away after 30 minutes.. and if he hadn't finished the food, then he'd learn to eat it faster.
Personally, I'm the type who leaves food out all the time for my pets so it's always there if they're hungry.
Turbo is good about eating. He doesn't scarf the food down. He eats a few bites and walks away, and goes back for a few more bites.
So for the past week I actually have been keeping his food dish up when it wasn't a meal time, and he's getting the majority of his food as treats for training, or through his kong toys.
I mentioned my concern over the treat excitement to hubby, and he said maybe the dog is just that hungry! We didn't notice this type of behavior before we started picking up his dish, and although he's had a week, he still has not learned to eat all of his food within the half hour time frame.
So I'm going to go back to leaving his food out all day and see what happens.
I realize this could create problems such as not being motivated by treats to do his training, or gaining too much weight. But I just want to try it and see if he stops getting over-excited whenever he sees a treat. I'll adjust my methods if needed.. it's all a learning experience right now!