by Bianca Rootman
Bribery and corruption. The mere mention of that statement has many snarling, rolling their eyes and muttering things such as, “oh, yet another person getting ahead in life through all the wrong avenues!”. Those two words can turn anyone’s smile upside down.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, we here at AHAH not only recommend it, but we are huge bribery and corruption advocates! Now before you snarl, roll your eyes at me, or pick up the phone to report us, let me explain the type of bribery and corruption we love. Our bribery and corruption come in many forms, we use liver bread, peanut butter, biltong, chicken, balls, squeaky toys, salmon, and even the occasional baby voice. No, these items are not used to bribe our clients to pay us, or to bribe us to do our jobs (although we never say no to free snacks). We corruptly use these items to bribe our patients into doing their exercises.
Now I’m sure the thought of someone holding a chocolate bar in front of us whilst we are running on the treadmill would have us all looking like Chris Hemsworth in no time, but keep in mind that your companion does not understand why he/she has to be doing the things we are asking them to do. By using a form of reward, whether it be chicken, cheese, a toy, or even your baby voice, your companion begins to associate the activity or exercise he/she is doing with a reward and praise from you. Remember your companion loves to please you, so that little snack and head rub at the end of a training session gives them great pleasure and builds the desire to do it again, all for the reward and praise from Mom or Dad. We want our puppies to be willing and happy to do the things we that are asking them to do and to have a positive association with exercise and training.
When you put on your companion’s harness, so take out the exercise equipment and that amazing liver bread or squeaky toy, this develops and motivates the drive to work and complete their sessions.
Yes, this is corrupt, but it allows you to carry out the desired activity without forcing your companion to do it. Forcing your companion to do any activity will result in resistance, shut down, and a negative association, all of which we do not want.
So, find that special snack, toy, or tone of voice that gets your companions tail wagging.