Friday, April 24, 2009

Would YOU Live to Please?

I've heard this so many times:

Spot is such a good dog - he just lives to please me!

This idea kind of irks me. Why would a dog live to please us? That's the sole purpose of a dog's life - to please humans? What an egotistical thing to imagine. How's about we imagine for a moment an animal who's discovered just how beneficial it is to their survival to hang out with us humans. We feed them, we vaccinate them, we provide them shelter and companionship...the works. It is in their best interest to please us, but that doesn't make it their life's purpose.

This little hang-up can truly slow training progress. It's only when we stop expecting our dogs to perform behaviors "just because" and start showing them why it's beneficial that we reap the benefits of training.

You don't go to work every day just to hear your boss say "good job, Bill!" If that was the only thing you got, I'm pretty sure you'd find another job. It's the paycheck that keeps us coming back because we have bills to pay and someone to support (whether that's a family or just yourself!). when it comes to training, don't expect your dog see life much differently than you.

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