Free Stuff, Why It’s Ruining Your Dog Training
Ahhhhh free stuff!
We all love free stuff, right?
I mean who doesn’t love free?
Do you remember that favorite thing that you got for free?
Do you remember buying your first car or owning your first home?
Chances are those memories are vivid.
I remember buying my first car when I was 20.
I bought a brand new Saturn Wagon (back when Saturn was actually Saturn). My husband and I bought a wagon because we had two big Rottweilers and needed a larger vehicle, but didn’t want to buy a van.
I remember them washing it, and pulling it into the “presentation area” where we got our picture taken with it.
I was terrified as I pulled off the lot and we headed off to our favorite Mexican Restaurant.
The memory is so vivid I can almost smell the smells of the new car and taste the chimichanga.
On the other hand, we don’t remember free stuff very well, because, in most cases it is pretty meaningless.
We take free stuff for granted.
Your Dog Feels the Exact Same Way
I mean he likes the free dog treats and the free food, but he doesn’t spend time thinking about it.
He expects it.
And, we as dog owners feel we must provide him with these “free” things because we love him.
I mean… it would be horrific to make him WORK for something.
So when you say that your dog isn’t treat motivated, or toy motivated or food motivated… I can’t help but wonder how much “free” stuff he gets?
I mean, it probably isn’t exciting because he gets all of his needs met all the time WITHOUT having to listen to you.
So why then, would he bother to listen to you for the same rewards?
Often times I suggest skipping a meal or two for the dog.
I know, again, that sounds horrific. I’m not suggesting that you tie him to a tree and never feed him again. I am simply suggesting that the food begins to have more meaning to him.
I’m not motivated by a piece of cake after I have been to the buffet but I am motivated by a piece of cake if I am hungry. You just need to make him a little hungry, I promise it won’t hurt him too bad!
He Wants to Work
Also, it should be noted he wants to work.
Working stimulates his mind.
There are days I don’t want to work, but most dogs have a great work ethic! They never want to retire!
Use the things your dog loves to your advantage, control them, control the dog!
I don’t believe in free stuff at my house!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.