My phone company doesn’t understand about rewards!

They sent me a message telling me they were ‘rewarding’ me with a FREE SAUSAGE ROLL (can you contain yourself?!) from a well-known high-street bakery.

Having been a vegetarian for the last 32 years, I can assure you I am not planning to rush out and claim my ‘reward’, free or otherwise. Now a nice bar of dark chocolate and I’d be there in a flash!

Of course, thousands of their customers will be breaking down the doors for their free sausage rolls, but if the company keep trying to ‘reward’ me with stuff that makes me feel slightly nauseous I might even decide to go elsewhere with my phone business.

“What’s this got to do with dogs?”

My point is this: When training dogs, I use rewards for behaviours I like and want to see more of. This is ‘positive reinforcement’ if I see an increase in the behaviour I want. But it’s not up to me, it’s up to the DOG what they find rewarding!

Loki will do a triple-somersault for a bit of old biscuit. Cardboard would probably do it, to be honest. But other dogs won’t get out of bed for less than raw steak. Pip likes to parade with a toy he’s earned, while Millie wants me to tug it with her. Loki will work all day for a chuck-it ball, until he sees a ‘real’ tennis ball and then I don’t exist with my inferior ball.

In some circumstances, one dog’s reinforcer is another dog’s punisher. Loki works for pieces of carrot (like I said, cardboard really would do it) whereas Millie would spit them out and walk away in disgust – and I’m very unlikely to see her repeat the behaviour I was trying to get more of.

And that’s what the phone company have got WRONG. They haven’t talked to me about what I would find rewarding. The sausage roll is actually a punishment for me. I won’t be clicking on any links or buying anything new to get more sausage rolls, so they have REDUCED my behaviour which is actually the definition of punishment.

Take time to get to know what the most ‘rewarding’ rewards are for your dog. It will super-charge your training sessions.

If food is your dog's thing & you want healthy high value treats, grab your FREE e-book of simple recipes here!

And if anyone wants a sausage roll… 😉

❤️  🐾🐾


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