Dog biting your hand for treats? Try this trainer’s one simple solution

Dog eating from owner's hand
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dog treats are one of the best ways to reward good behavior. But as some dog owners will know, this isn’t always the most comfortable experience when they bite your hand each time.

If your dog tends to nip, then it can make playing and walk time less enjoyable for you - you might even feel scared to treat them at all. Our guide on how to stop a puppy biting, mouthing or nipping might be handy when handling younger pups. 

This is all about to change as dog trainer Melissa Goodman has shared one way to get around this. It’s simple, quick, and (most importantly) pain-free - here’s what to do: 

Pack the best dog treats for your next walk and put them in a place where you can easily get to them. When you want to reward your dog, throw the treat a foot in front of you on the floor and carry on walking like normal. 

The distance you throw it all depends on your dog and walking pace, but this is a good reference point until you get the hang of it. It might take a few tries for you to master your timing. 

There are a few reasons why this trick is so good. One, by throwing the treat ahead of you (as opposed to stopping and starting), your dog will stay in the desired position you want them to be in and you can reward them immediately. Two, you’ll avoid painful bites as you won’t need to hand-feed them. 

Melissa explains that this method is a great way to get your dog to slow down and keep them by your side on walks, which can often be a challenge. Your dog will also find it calming and enriching to sniff the treats out.

If you want to try another method, Melissa suggests buying a lickable pouch which you can feed them as you walk along.

She wrote: “The timing and delivery of your reward make a massive difference in the associations your dog will make in training.”

Why not try this trick at one of the best dog walks in the US? For more dog tips and advice, here’s everything you need to know about training a dog without treats and how to make your own homemade dog treats

Cafe Nara Chicken Flavored Lickable Dog Treats

Cafe Nara Chicken Flavored Lickable Dog Treats

$3.99 at Chewy

These nutritious treats are perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs - made from human-grade ingredients and free from corn, grain, wheat, and soy. The squeezy tube packaging will make treat time a lot more fun (especially for dogs that bite). 

Megan Milstead
Staff Writer

Megan is Staff Writer on PetsRadar and covers news, features, buying guides, and reviews. When she’s not talking about her cats, Nala and Chilli (a rare occasion), you’ll find her watching funny pet videos on Instagram and sending hundreds of them to her friends. She’s particularly interested in pet wellness and is fascinated by cat behavior. Megan has been animal-obsessed for as long as she can remember, having grown up with pets since the age of three and competed in horse riding competitions for seven years. She has had a variety of animals, including horses, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, and fish, which taught her first-hand everything she knows about pet care.


Megan studied Journalism at the University of Westminster, where she specialized in lifestyle journalism and was Editor of the online student publication, Smoke Radio. She has experience working across digital and print media and previously worked for titles such as Harrods, My Local News, and Licklist. As a committed pet mom of two, she enjoys going the extra mile for her cats and is passionate about helping readers find the answers they need.