Tuesday, March 9, 2010
My Dog's An eTrader and Your's Is Too!!
It’s a joke around the house that when I leave, Sarah hops on to the computer and spends her day eTrading. I guess the joke came from the fact that Sarah probably does nothing but sleep all day…or at least that’s what she wants us to think. Here I am thinking she needs mental stimulation when I get home, but really she’s involved in heavy stock trading and screaming in to the phone at her broker while I’m away!
What’s actually true about this joke is:
dogs calculate opportunity and risk every day.
I’m in school right now; along with my professional obligations, this is taking quite a toll on my personal life. I haven’t had a moment to relax in a loooooong time but it’s worth it because in the end, I will have something to show for my hard work: my degree. I know this and I trust in this not just because someone told me so, but because my university has a proven history of graduates before me. They have credibility and I know that I will get what I want out of it.
Sarah knows that if she does something she doesn’t particularly like, I will pay her handsomely. I’ve built this trust with her. She hates wearing her jacket – I’m sure if it was up to her, she’d throw out all housebreaking rules and use her jacket as a pee pad. So why does she wear it? Because I’ve paired it with a very valuable thing: FOOD! Sarah likes food way more than she hates her jacket!! The risk: wearing the stupid jacket. The payoff: getting treats!
If your dog doesn’t like something, you can work on conditioning that BAD something with a really GOOD something. This will build up your credibility and make your dog more likely to cooperate with you! Build it up so strong that eventually, they will weigh their options: do something I don’t like but get something I really do like. Hmmm…which would YOU choose!?