How does your dog feel safe and rewarded?

Have you heard of the 5 love languages by Gary Chapman? If not, it is a fantastic book about how to express to your commitment to your Mate. It talks about how each person has a preference on how they feel loved. Ergo the 5 love languages these include:

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Quality `time
  3. Receiving gifts
  4. Acts of service
  5. Physical touch

So, what does this have to do with dog training? Simple, dogs are the same! When we think about what is most rewarding to our dogs, dogs can have preferences too. This can vary based on location as well.

  1. Food
  2. Tug
  3. Chase
  4. Physical touch
  5. Verbal praise

It also means we have to be mindful on what makes our dogs feel not just rewarded but safe. I have one dog that would absolutely love for you to play fetch with her, but she would never become a therapy dog. She only likes petting from a very limited pool of people. Conversely, I do have a therapy dog and she believes that all the people she has ever met are her to give her pets, I.E. physical touch.  The whole point of this article is to help you start thinking about what your dog enjoys the most for a reward and use that. Additionally, picking to only put them in environments or situations that will set them up for success. Be mindful not all dogs enjoy crowds, not all dogs enjoy meeting new people or other dogs. There is nothing wrong with your dog, if they do not like everyone the ever met, they might just have a different way of feeling safe and rewarded.

Happy training,

Maggie Pearson, B.S, ADT, CSAT, AKC CGC evaluator


chihuahua dog

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