Scientific Study Actually Proves Dogs Prefer Praise to Food!
When it comes to choosing between a treat or praise from their human parent, dogs prefer the latter, a new study has found (see below for news article). As I’ve always said, dogs don’t need food in order to be motivated to comply. And, by using praise versus food, you eliminate the numerous serious problems associated with treat training.
Treat training will never train your dog toward self-governance whereby he will happily behave within the rules and boundaries you set for him because of the benefits it brings to his life. You can, however, achieve this “Trust Zone” self-governance level using my Nature-Based Discipline, Praise & Play® method (see below for the details of this method and why it works).
My Perfect Dog® system fully equips owners to teach their dogs to discern the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. It also builds a solid relationship of respect whereby the dog will defer to his owner in all situations, regarding the wishes of his owner over what he’d rather do. The biggest rewards of this are safety and freedom for the dog, and peace of mind and life harmony for the owner.
In particular, the higher, thoroughly satisfying quality of life the dog experiences as a result of truly effective training is immense. This includes the following:
YOUR DOG WILL ENJOY…
When considering the above in comparison to the results of treat training, who would choose to go the food bribery route? Let’s consider the contrast between the two training methods in detail:
TREATS vs. NATURE-BASED DISCIPLINE, PRAISE & PLAY® METHOD…
At the end of day, treat training is just a way of bribing your dog to simply listen to you (hopefully!), whereas my Nature-Based Discipline, Praise & Play® method actually rehabilitates your dog from the inside out, creating a whole new set of behavioral defaults (positive ones!) within his nature. This is when dog ownership really gets exciting and thoroughly rewarding!
– Don Sullivan, “The DogFather”
Dogs Prefer Owner’s Praise To Food, New Study Finds
BY SEERAT CHABBA @CRAT074 ON 08/29/16 AT 7:06 AM
When it comes to choosing between a treat or praise from their human parent, dogs prefer the latter, a new study has found.
Published in the journal Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, the study by Emory University scientists analyzed 15 dogs using an MRI to scan a their brain when the dogs was awake and unrestrained.
“We are trying to understand the basis of the dog-human bond and whether it’s mainly about food, or about the relationship itself,” Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist at the university in Atlanta, said in a news release.
Berns leads the university’s “Dog Project” that began five years ago. The author of “How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Brain,” is investigating the evolution of dogs. The goal was to learn whether food is what dogs “really care about,” Berns said, according to the Washington Post.
“Out of the 13 dogs that completed the study, we found that most of them either preferred praise from their owners over food, or they appeared to like both equally. Only two of the dogs were real chowhounds, showing a strong preference for the food,” he said.
The dogs were trained to associate three different objects with food, verbal praise from the owner and a control. The neutral activity of the dogs was recorded as they underwent 32 trials for each of the three objects with the results showing that the brains of 13 of the 15 dogs were stimulated by the praise as much as they were with the food, if not more.
The next experiment was behavioral with a Y-shaped maze constructed for each dog. One path led to a bowl of food, while the other led to the dog’s owner who praised the dog if it chose the owner’s path.
“Dogs are hypersocial with humans,” Berns explained, “and their integration into human ecology makes dogs a unique model for studying cross-species social bonding.”
Direct link to online article by International Business Times: http://www.ibtimes.com/dogs-prefer-owners-praise-food-new-study-finds-2408484
Nature-Based Discipline, Praise & Play® Method Why it Works
If your dog could talk…
Your dog did not have a choice who he went home with. The quality of life he will receive rests solely in your hands, and those of your household. But, beware that you do not let your desire for the “warm fuzzies” of a canine companion distort your outlook on dog ownership. Take care that you do not confuse your dog’s wagging tail and pleading eyes (as you wave that juicy tidbit in front of his nose) with “love.” If you do, you will be “loving” him into a sentence of life on a leash, and possibly a host of other impositions and exclusions.
If you truly love your dog then you will search beyond your own humanistic instincts and ideals and learn what it takes to give your dog the best life possible, from his point of view. Despite popular belief, attention and affection are not at the top of the canine needs pyramid.
If you asked your dog what he craves most, he would eagerly answer, “FREEDOM!…Freedom to be with you and the family wherever you go, without being tied to that silly string you call a leash. I want to hang out in the yard (even though it’s not fenced) while you mow the lawn and wash the car. I need to chase the ball and romp with the other dogs at the park, not to walk around the block a few times which hardly gets me warmed up. I want to wander and enjoy all those awesome smells as we stroll along the beach without you calling me every 5 seconds, fearing I will run away. I’d love to be there at birthday parties, barbecues and dinner parties instead of being locked away in the laundry. I’d love to be a part of family vacations and weekend outings. Hey, I even want to carry the mail for you when we fetch it together from the mailbox!”
To most, this would seem like an unrealistic Lassie type dream. Yet, it is within the grasp of all dog owners. They just need to look through a canine lens instead. Let’s face it, a mother dog does not use leashes, baby gates and bags of cookies, yet her pups are wholly devoted to her; there is order and harmony within her pack, and love abounds. You too can achieve the same, if you follow her perfect, God ordained example.
Good intentions, but a path to failure.
Well intentioned people have mistakenly tried to apply human philosophies towards training dogs. These attempts have gained in popularity because they appeal to human emotions, yet they are misguided in their approach and are actually detrimental to both humans and dogs alike when considered in light of the bigger picture.
Food reward and other types of bribery and repetitive style training methods have also emerged from the hearts of those who have witnessed cruelty towards dogs in a multitude of ways, from a number of sources. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to stop it, there will always be evil minded people who will abuse animals in general, but we must be careful not to inhibit responsible and loving dog owners from achieving their training goals by confusing discipline with abuse.
The goal we should all have in training our dogs is to trust them to respond to our instruction and act responsibly, under any amount of distraction or temptation, without needing to be leashed or restrained in any way. This goal should be regardless of breed, age, instinct, intellect, personality quirks, or past history. This is the bigger picture.
The application of human philosophies to dog training fails because they are interpreted by the dog as submissive. Like it or not, your dog simply sees you as a member of his pack. He interprets your every dealing with him in canine terms.
Your dog was born into a hierarchical system where respect is gained by discipline and the rewards are acceptance, affection and pack order. Food and mating are at the center of a pack’s existence and the dog that proves to be the most dominant is the one that gains control over these necessities of life. A dog that relinquishes his food to another is always the subordinate.
The moment your dog stepped foot into your home, he sized you up as either a leader or a follower (most likely a follower). From his point of view, leadership is not based on who is bigger, who is holding the leash or who buys the dog food. Every time you hand your dog a piece of food, allow him to shove his way past you, or give in to his demands (whether obvious or subtle), you are reinforcing in his mind that he is the leader and you are his subordinate. Your passive humanistic nature is failing to give you the control you need in the relationship. Your desire to earn or buy your dog’s love is diminishing the hope of being able to give him the freedom he needs, yearns for and deserves.
It is instinctive for your dog to love you as a member of his pack. He will gladly take your treats and other offerings, at times humoring you with temporary obedience to your wishes (when it is convenient for him). But, he will love and respect you if you change the way you deal with him to establish yourself as his proven leader.
Physical correction is part of a dog’s language.
Physical correction between dogs has always been and will always be a natural part of the dog to dog relationship because it establishes and maintains harmony and order amongst them. This fact does not change in a dog’s mind simply because he has come to live in a home with human beings.
Proper discipline is a controlled, calculated exercise for the purpose of behavior modification. Without the use of discipline in a dog pack there would be chaos, much like the chaos that is rampant in the majority of dog inclusive homes today. Many of these owners try to reign in the chaos by using restraints, exclusion and sometimes even “blowing a fuse” on their dogs, but these futile attempts only lead to other behavior problems and character instabilities.
One of the most serious byproducts of ineffective dog handling is aggression. Millions of loved and cared for family dogs bite unsuspecting strangers and even members of their own families (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 4.7 million reported dog bites annually in the United States; the majority of dog bites are never reported to local authorities) simply because of a lack of respect for human beings; respect that can never be gained through food reward or other types of bribery and repetitive style training. Many children and adults alike are scarred for life and even killed by dogs they thought “loved” them. Love does not equate to respect. A dog can love the person he attacks, but he loves them as a follower, not a leader.
Sadly, many of these dogs are destroyed because the passive, repetitive, bribery style methods used to train them did not gain control over their will, and, in fact, actually exacerbated the aggression issues. The owners were fooled into thinking that every time their dogs sat for a treat they were on the road to achieving obedient dogs. Little did they know that they were training their dogs to perform a superficial imitation of obedience that would soon crumble under the distractions and temptations of real life.
These attacks and subsequent euthanizing would never have occurred if a logical praise and discipline training method had been adopted from the day the dogs entered their human homes; a method that the dogs were born to understand and respect.
From day one a dog learns to respect firm leadership as his mother applies physical discipline to keep each of her puppies in line. This discipline is in the form of growls, barks and nipping corrections. It is only used when necessary, and it is administered at varying levels of intensity according to the strength of will of her individual pups. The rewards of compliance are acceptance, harmony, order, physical love, affection and the freedom to live safely, confidently and contentedly within the established boundaries. Their lives are fully satisfying and complete. It is the innate, natural process within the created animal, and it works beautifully.
As human beings we can certainly reproduce the rewards which our dogs would have received had they remained with their mothers, but we cannot fully imitate the types of physical corrections that dogs administer one to another. So, we have to use the next best thing.
The Command Collar® is a training aide which emulates a mother dog’s natural corrective process, allowing for the incorporation of discipline into the training program. It is a temporary tool which enables you to lay the foundation of respect in the relationship with your dog. In a short period of time, once your dog’s respect is gained, the training tools (Command Collar® and Freedom Training Lines) are no longer needed and your dog can live a life free of physical restrictions and free of the frustrations that come with not being completely trustworthy.
Pseudo training tools equal no results.
Many people unwittingly use so called “training devices” such as gentle leaders, Martingale collars, and even flat collars, believing wholeheartedly that they are effectively establishing their leadership. Some use these devices because they won’t allow themselves to accept the reality of a dog’s disciplinarian nature. Yet others use them because it is simply a means of keeping their dogs from running off on them.
However, these devices have such minimal physical corrective consequence that they do nothing to gain the dog’s respect or to change its behavior. In fact, frustrated by the lack of freedom, the dog will very often pull and strain in opposition to the restriction, and the owner, attempting to maintain control of the dog, will very often pull back on the leash. This constant pressure and ineffective jerking can cause serious damage to the dog’s neck and throat, making these devices dangerous to use. Sadly, this type of scenario is invariably a daily occurrence throughout the life of the dog. We must also consider the damaging affects on the arms and shoulders of a multitude of wearied dog owners!
The Command Collar®: A temporary tool for life long freedom.
The use of an effective corrective style collar such as the Command Collar® (in conjunction with the 3 Freedom Training Lines and the training DVDs) can alleviate this issue of pulling and straining in a dramatically short period of time, teaching the dog to exercise self-restraint, even under intense distraction or temptation. The use of the Command Collar® is not limited to simple leash walking, but rather is an all-encompassing tool which can be used to effect positive changes in every area of your dog’s life.
If a certain dog in a dog pack only stood around barking all the time, to try to gain control over the others, then many of the dogs would ignore him, and he would fail to gain control. If all the dogs communicated with their “voices” alone, then disorder would ensue. It is the reinforcement of a dominant dog’s instructions with physical discipline (at varying levels; for those of the other dogs which need it) which empowers him to establish harmony and order within the pack. Often this dominant dog does not even have to act upon physical discipline; it is the fact that he is capable of it which subdues potential challenge from other dogs.
Many dog owners mistakenly try to deal with their dog’s problematic issues with their voices alone. They talk to their dogs, yell at their dogs, cajole them, and even lecture them. However, most dogs simply ignore (or at least cleverly avoid obeying) their owners’ instructions because they do not take them seriously. If it wasn’t for the fact that their owners’ are capable of enforcing restrictions in their lives (such as leashes, baby gates, shut doors, and fences) then utter chaos would result.
My Command Collar® (in conjunction with my three Freedom Training Lines and training DVDs) is the missing link between striving fruitlessly with your dog and establishing peace in your household. Instead of “barking” all the time, the Command Collar® enables you to physically reinforce your instructions (when needed; at a level appropriate for your individual dog). Very quickly, you will find your dog following your lead simply because you have the ability to reinforce your communication should he choose to disobey; you will find your dog taking you more seriously, and he will begin to control himself of his own accord.
The Command Collar® encourages your dog to start overcoming his undesirable urges, placing him on the road to being a trustworthy companion and living the kind of life he was hoping you would give him when you first brought him home.
Power of trust.