Put your wallets away! We are not actually paying our dog with money, that would be silly. Unless, of course, you’re a Hollywood producer that is paying your animal actor, in that case pay up!
So many people say they prefer dogs over people. I’ve got a theory. Maybe it’s because when you hand a dog a piece of your chicken they become your best friend. However, with humans even when you’ve established you are best friends your best friend might question that friendship if you have tagged another friend in a “best friend” meme. That might have been hard to follow; my point is, dogs are simple. You don’t have to pay them with money, bonuses, or special “team-building” paintball trips. Food will do just fine. So, what do you pay your dog for? Doing your taxes? Um… no. Don’t be weird. Here are 10 things you can pay your dog for.
Letting you know things.
Now unfortunately this doesn’t mean your dog can secretly give you intel on what happened in the home when you were away. He’s not going to greet you at the door and let you know that your spouse ordered $17 worth of gourmet soaps on Amazon with your credit card. What your dog can let you know is if they have to go outside to eliminate, or that their water bowl needs refilling. When your dog gives you subtle hints instead of barking or throwing the entire water bowl halfway across the room, give them a cookie.
Chewing their bone.
Seems redundant to feed your dog for chewing a bone. It is. Good news your dog doesn’t know what redundant means and will probably just look at it as an awesome bonus from their awesome mom or dad! If they’re chewing their bone, they aren’t chewing your couch. Reward it. Your welcome.
Sittings cool. When our dogs sit it makes them look polite and sophisticated. Nobody ever paints a gentleman dog wearing a monocle while standing up, do they? Point proven. Pay up!
I know, I know. I wish I could get paid for laying down too. I used to think this one was ridiculous, until I saw my friends Pug walk across the table like it was nothing. Eh, I think I’d prefer it if that Pug was laying down, on the floor, instead of knocking coca-colas off the table for them to lay on the floor, and spill out.
House-training can be a pain. Luckily, if we remember to pay up every once in a while, our dogs will happily do their business outside for years to come.
Playing with their toy.
YES, I KNOW I WANT TO GET PAID TO PLAY TOO!! We are all slowly figuring out where the term “lucky dog” comes from. Look at it this way, if your dog is playing with their toys, they aren’t playing with your shoes. Treats are $2. Converse are $60. Seems ridiculous to reward this but your bank account will thank me.
Resting on their bed.
Some people don’t want their pets on their furniture, some pets think you are the furniture. So, to avoid getting hair on that brand-new couch, or getting crushed by your 70-pound lap dog, you can pay your dog for resting on their own bed.
Looking at you.
Good thing about dogs is they don’t care if you’re wearing you $35 MAC foundation or that $14 Sephora blush. Dogs probably think we are funny looking all the time and so won’t judge you for the bed head and eye bags. When your dog looks at you it gives you the opportunity to give them directions. The more you pay up for this behavior the easier it will be to get your dog to do the things you want them to do in distracting environments.
Coming when called.
We all want our dogs to come when called. To make this behavior even stronger make sure you pay up. Your dog could be out sniffing out some good neighborhood gossip when you call them. Make sure you are more important by rewarding them when they come your way.
Having four paws on the floor.
This seems silly. Don’t they always have 4 paws on the floor? Why is the writer criticizing her own work? Calm down. Think of when our dogs don’t have four paws on the floor. When they jump up on us and furniture or when they are slowing being hijacked by aliens through a bright light that has cascaded down into your living room. So to stop the jumping and prevent an alien invasion reward your dog for having 4 paws on the ground. The state of human-kind as we know it depends on you!
When we pay our dogs for doing these things, we are avoiding unwanted behavior. If you pay your dog for doing things you want them to do, and ignoring things you don’t, you will see more good behavior in your home. A good way to start is to implement our 50-cookie-challenge into your home. So, stop all this reading mumbo-jumbo and start paying up!
Samantha Brown, Victoria Stilwell Graduate
Sam graduated with Distinction from the Victoria Stilwell Dog Training Academy. While completing her studies she mentored under Tara. She is a Fear Free Certified Professional and is continuing to seek other ways to expand her knowledge base. Her background as a professional comedian compliments her skills as a trainer. She volunteers at the local shelter and specializes in day training, kitty kindergarten, and class creation.