An Easy Pill to Swallow, Training to Take Pills the Easy Way, Part 3

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series An Easy Pill to Swallow

It’s been a while since I mentioned this, but this is a skill which we often wish our dogs had, but rarely teach them before we need it. Mindy had to learn it early, when a urinary tract infection required antibiotics.

So here’s a short video of Mindy taking her undisguised pill on cue — and not only taking the undisguised pill, but leaving a fun puzzle toy full of kibble to do so.

[video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”BjiNQiPg7hE” width=”640″ height=”480″ auto_thumb=”1″]

She had to learn it, though. Here’s Day 2 of our process, with a big ol’ chunk of reinforcement.

[video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”Bg-XbL2tXxE” width=”640″ height=”480″ auto_thumb=”1″]

To be honest, I feel a little guilty showing these videos. It was just too easy to train this to a Labrador! Eating non-food items comes pretty easily to them. But it really does work , too.

About Laura VanArendonk Baugh CPDT-KA KPACTP

Laura was born at a very young age and started playing with animals immediately after. She never grew out of it, and it looks to be incurable. She is the author of the bestselling FIRED UP, FRANTIC, AND FREAKED OUT. She owns Canines In Action, Inc. in Indianapolis, speaks at workshops and seminars, and is also a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member.

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  1. The joys of having an innocent puppy vs. a skeptical, cynical old hound dog. I’m quite envious of Mindy gobbling up her pills like a it was kibble especially since I had just finished giving Abby her heartworm preventative, which entails jamming it down her throat. If I put it in cream cheese or peanut butter, she licks off the cheese leaving the pill. I also tried mixing pills in with tunafish (which she loves) and again, the pill is left behind. I tried something similar to what you did with Mindy, using pieces of venison jerky (and steak!) and Abby still spits out the pills.

    My parents’ dogs are very good; just a dab of cream cheese and they gobble it down. What angels. At least Abby doesn’t have “shark teeth” when I do give her pills.

    Mindy seems bigger (and even cuter!). What is she ~ 15 weeks now?

    • I think my earlier reply got eaten by the interwebz!

      Yes, and an innocent Labrador puppy is even easier. πŸ™‚ But Shakespeare started older and skeptical, and he did get it. “You want me to eat that? /sniff/ You know it’s not food, right? This had better be worth it.” And it was my job to make sure it was.

      Mindy is roughly 14 weeks now, yep!

  2. Wow, she’s getting so big. Great training idea. I will definitely give that a go with my two GSPs.

  3. Wow. She is so huge compared to the day you got her. Your blogging and videos are fantastic!

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