Monday, October 4, 2010

Rewarding a dog

When walking Aries, my sister's dog, I talk to him as we move along, letting him know what a nice doggie he is and how much I enjoy his company. He doesn't understand my words, but I'm sure he understands my tone, which is conversational. Sometimes he tries my patience, like sitting or laying on the grass for a long time. He'll flop on the lawn and just roll around on his back. Doing that is easier for him now because he's lost some weight.

Sometimes, my sister rewards Aries and Chloe with Frosty Paws, a dog treat that looks very much like ice cream. And the dogs love it. You should see how they eagerly lick the container clean!  But as any good dog owner realizes, one has to be careful in dispensing treats, as they can cause dogs to gain too much weight. Aries especially. His body looked like a barrel and he hardly wanted to move. But he loved to eat and discouraging him from eating so much turned out to be quite a battle.

With her dogs, toys are sort of a reward. For example, a toy that squeaked loudly when a dog played with it attracted both dogs, and they did play for a minute or two but that was all. I, for one, think that food, aka treats, is the dogs' favorite reward.

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