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.
And Elmo was busy making faces behind Peach.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.