Rewards Equal Results

Herding dogs or humans to get something done can be just as challenging as herding cats. This is our first year with LeBron (Bronnie), our dachshund, as a member of the family and I decided to take photos of all three dogs together. They were everywhere – on the bed, off the bed, checking out the closet, looking in the toilet – everywhere but where I needed them to be.

Bronnie was off with his ball and wanted to play fetch. IMG_6656.jpg

And Elmo was busy making faces behind Peach.

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But then out came the treats. All eyes were on me and I could probably lead them off a cliff like a bunch of lemmings. I gave them each a treat and told them how good they were and now they were focused. I was able to get all three together for a photo. IMG_6771.JPG

The best part? I could tell them they’d be getting a “nummy” and get their attention, so I didn’t have to reward them every time. That allowed me to get some photos of each one individually.

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So the point that shouldn’t be lost is that rewards are a great way to motivate dogs. People are no different. Okay, well, if you give someone a dog biscuit, I don’t think you’ll be too popular. But something, anything, even words of praise go along way with humans and animals.

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The big trick? Sincerity. If you’re going to hand out praise, say it like you mean it. People can see right through a compliment that is just said for the sake of saying. If you don’t feel it, or you suck at expressing yourself vocally, find another way. How about a Thank You card? A gift certificate?

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In the end, letting those that are important to you (employees, family, friends) know that you value them by just a simple act of praise (AKA reward), goes a long way. Just ask my dogs.

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