When talking about reward in dogs, this usually means food. They forget that there are many other forms of reward for social creatures that reinforce behaviour.
“Lueg da, was i han, feini Guuutzi!”, the woman waves her arm high in the air, her hand holds a piece of sausage up to the sky. The furry contact person doesn’t seem to be interested in the offer, at the end of the large meadow he disappears into the forest sniffing. Mistress with sausage is literally “sausage” to him.
The bitch hesitates, puts one paw out, but pulls it back immediately. The hand with the tempting food moves on the obstacle and belongs to the dog owner, who just wants to teach her four-legged friend to jump on the narrow beam.
He evades immediately when the hand with the fine food comes closer. The male dog is very careful. His owner gives up trying to lure him outside with food. He thinks that the street dog from Eastern Europe is fussy instead of grateful. Let him eat at home what there is.
“Cheere!” it cries from the dirt road. The young male moves in joyful leaps to the farm in the other direction – because there lives his great love, who is in heat at the moment. “And today I’ve brought extra fine wieners with me,” the now abandoned dog owner is annoyed..
Why does food have no value in some situations?
Hunting is self rewarding
Dogs that drift over the threshold of responsiveness while hunting have neither eyes nor ears for their owners and their oh so tempting food. In this situation, the brain only processes the stimuli that are useful for successful preying, everything else is faded out. This makes sense in nature and ensures survival.
Insecurity is rewarded by security
If dogs do not dare to follow certain suggestions of humans (e.g. balancing on a beam), lures in the form of food are rather counterproductive. It could be that a very voracious quadruped follows the food and, because not physically assessed, falls off the beam and injures himself.
Then a negative component would be added to the beam and perhaps also to the offered food. This would result in a wrong connection, which can later lead to avoidance behaviour. It would also be possible that the dog would link the bad experience with the person next to him, which would damage trust.
Fear needs time
Former street dogs often avoid hands, especially when they come towards them. The made experiences are not erasable. Mostly hands mean pain for such dogs. Depending on the individual, the dog avoids or attacks. This is completely understandable and has nothing to do with ingratitude. Such dogs make their own rules because they want to avoid injuries.
Tingling in the stomach
Dogs in love usually have very bad hearing when you call them. This special feeling leaves no more room for food in the stomach. Food becomes unimportant. Food bowls that remain full are normal in the puberty phase with the associated constant hormone fluctuations. So what should the Wienerli do against the “great love”?
Frustration with food reward
Surprisingly, many dog owners believe that their fur noses have to react correctly in every situation to the food reward they offer. The frustration about special, according to human judgement wonderfully fine food, which is spurned then, nevertheless, is big. Out of the frustration grows a silent demonstration of power, which triggers the human to think that his dog should follow without reward, if he is already so ungrateful.
But what does follow mean? It is that man and dog only want to follow a role model who lives trust, respect, friendliness, reliability and a fair and loving contact. Trust builds up slowly. It must be constantly insured to each other in order to last. So the aim is not to make food presents, but it is necessary to make suitable presents in different forms and to accept answers.
The first arduous journey of the newborn puppy to the mother’s teat rewards it with food, warmth, security, familiarity in the form of smell. It is therefore natural and important to reward dogs as they learn. WellPet gives empathy to your pet. Just ask yourself the question: What can I do to make my dog happy in which situation?
Give an answer
Dogs are true masters in reading human body language and body odor. Anyone who is letting their dog get tipsy and boils with rage should pause training, for the sake of both. If we expect something from dogs or want to teach them something, then an answer from our side is always the most important reaction. So the dog can understand, if we treat him friendly