Dog Training – Motivation
By Candy Clemente
Okay, what is your reason for getting out of bed five days a week at the crack of dawn and sitting in two hours of traffic? My guess is it is your paycheck. I am sure you wouldn’t do it just for a pat on the back at the end of the week. So now think about your dog and what motivates him. What makes him jump for joy? Sure, a pat on the head or rub under the chin is nice, but what really turns him on? Is it food, a Frisbee, a ball, a tug toy? Figure out what his favorite thing in his world is, that is number one on your list of paychecks for your dog’s performance, that is his bonus. Go through all of your dog’s favorite things and assign a number from one to five, one being his all time favorite and five being “good boy”. When training, rate his performance from one to five, with one being the best he can be and five just acceptable. For my Jack Russells the Frisbee is number one, a piece of chicken is number two, a piece of kibble is number three, a pat and hug is number four and a “good boy” is number five. So that means if they did the weaves extra fast or hit their contacts perfectly – I toss the Frisbee. If they were just so so, then “good boy”. Dangling that Frisbee will let my dogs know that they were perfect and will therefore strive to get that reward every time they run those weave poles. Just like you, if you know that there is a nice bonus check waiting for you after you complete that project, you will do an extra special job on it. Payment commensurate with performance. It works with dog training too. Your dog will speed up, jump better and hit those contacts when he knows that his favorite reward is waiting for him.