I get asked often, "What are the best rewards to use?"
Sometimes, folks mean what food treats do I recommend. The answer is, whatever the dog says is tasty & worth having. Try a taste test with as many different kinds of treats you can round up. You might be surprised to find that one dog thinks is the cat's pajamas elicits rather ho-hum responses from others. Taste is a really personal thing. And dogs could care less what you think is a great treat, or, conversely, what you think is a poor treat.
I'm telling you - you haven't lived until you've stretched out in fresh sweet hay next to a friendly pig and wrapped yourself around her warm, strong body and dozed off listening to hens cluck and birds singing and the quiet sounds of a barn on a spring afternoon. Those seeking security, grounding and reassurance that all is well with the world on a deep and basic level would find it, I suspect, in the company of this remarkable pig.
On a fine snowy day, looking at one of my dogs who nearly died on Feb 8, contemplating the joys and heartbreaks of dogs, it seems fitting to share these two lovely pieces. Warning: tissues should be ready to hand. If you're not teary eyed after these, I'd have to wonder what's beating beneath your ribs.
From the University of Pennsylvania comes an interesting new study that actually looks at how an owner's aggressive behavior affects a dog's aggressive behavior.
Not too surprisingly, lead researcher Megan E. Herron notes:
"Our study demonstrated that many confrontational training methods, whether staring down dogs, striking them or intimidating them with physical manipulation does little to correct improper behavior and can elicit aggressive responses."
Most of us don't have to go too far in our family trees to find someone who grew up on a farm. But since 1960, there has been a huge shift in our society to a more urbanized life that does not include a daily working knowledge of animals and nature. This is not to say that simply living in a rural environment somehow confers an understanding of dogs or any animals.