What is a reward?

December 3, 2018

This is a question often thought about but little asked. What is a reward?

 

Many dog owners think rewards are things they give their dog such as treats, toys, a bit of chicken off their plate.

 

And while they are correct, many dogs love these things, many forget that there is more to it that that.

 

Rewards are things your dog finds rewarding

 

 

 So while this can be treats or toys given by their owner, it can also be things which we either don't approve of or don't think of as rewarding:

 

Jumping up to greet people

Pulling to get to the park

Stealing food

Chasing a squirrel

Being let off lead

Knocking over a child

Chasing a cat

Chasing a car

Shredding your favourite shoes

Stealing and running away with your undies

Eating poo

Barking

Barging through the door

Chasing the postie

Digging up the garden

or sitting on the furnature like Chewy here.

 

The list is long!

Suffice to say there are many things dogs find rewarding, some are acceptable in our society, and some are not.

We need to decide which we approve of and use these as rewards for our dog, for example, if your dog walks nicely for a while, you could let him off lead at the park for a run around. Or your dog does a wonderful obedience exercise so you let him bark as a reward.

 

Think about how you use these to reward your dog and which are fun for your dog and suitable for him to do