Dogs are like kids, they always want to be reminded that they are loved and considered, and when you give them a treat every once in a while, they not only feel your love and appreciation, but they also feel proud and happy about themselves.While dogs are pretty good at being trained with treats, you should also consider other forms of rewards.
Instead of rewarding your dog with treats, you might just give the dog an extra snuggle or a hug. You could also meet it in person and offer to take it for a walk or for a ride in your car. If your dog responds positively, it might be a good indication that it's a good fit for you.
The fact is, a Swedish study suggests that dogs prefer to earn their treats, rather than be given them. If you happen to just hand over a treat or two to your dog, you might want to consider having it perform a trick or give a handshake before giving it the goods.
The study was led by Dr. Ragen McGowan and some colleagues at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden, as well as a group of colleagues in Japan, the United States, and Canada. The researchers paired 12 dogs into six groups. Each group consisted of two dogs, all of which participated in the study were the same breed; Beagles. These included a variety of activities like pressing a piano key, ringing a bell, pushing a doorknob, and so on.
The dogs all learned their jobs in the week before the experiment began. On the day the team brought in one of the experimental dogs, they presented them with the three tasks they've learned. After completing those tasks in the time limit, the dog was presented with different rewards, including a treat, play time with another dog, or human contact.
That's when the control dog engages in the experiment. He has not been trained to perform those tasks, but he nonetheless will enter the room regardless and, therefore, cannot successfully complete any of the given tasks. However, he is still given a reward regardless of how he performs.
The researchers repeated the process several times. After observing the repeated actions several times, the team concluded that the experimental dogs who were able to complete their tasks showed more excitement than those who received the treat without exerting much effort.
Like kids, dogs often feel satisfaction with their accomplishments. They're positively affected by feeling like they have reached a goal, solved a problem, or achieved a task. In fact, like kids, some dogs might even take delight in being able to do something they haven't been able to do before. This is especially true for dogs who are new at a task, like learning to sit for a pet photograph or doing a handstand. Some dogs might even feel proud of a feat that they've been able to do successfully, like kids.
Husky lovers seem to enjoy getting their rewards because they get to decide what they want and how they can get it. That's the key as to why these loving creatures enjoy the process as much as we humans do.
Best practices for applying the results from the research
Turn your dog's enthusiasm into a cool trick. Just place the treat inside a food dispenser, and he'll have to do a little trick to obtain it. In this way, he'll be more excited when you actually give him the treat.
As mentioned in the previous article, we've covered the extreme importance of mental stimulation to your dog's daily activities before. The reason this subject keeps coming up again and again is the fact that dogs were domesticated long ago to help us, and because of this, they weren't expected to have a particular job, be a household pet or fetch treats. As a pet, you'll never be in danger of being abandoned or starving, and you won't have to worry about finding shelter, love or attention either.
In the wild, most huskies no longer use their natural instinct to hunt or scavenge. They might bark a few times to alert us from "danger," but their natural instinct to hunt or scavenge isn’t usually called on. Enabling your dog to work for their food or their treats or their playtime is basically teaching them how to solve a problem and consequently, it’s also improving their intelligence.