Finding Your Dog's "Currency" | Pupford
December 17th, 2022
Filed under Podcasts
Luckily, each of our dog's have their own "currencies". For some dogs, it is treats, while for others it may be a ball for fetch. The key is to figure out what your dog finds most valuable, and training accordingly.
Don't lock yourself into the trap of thinking that your dog has to take a treat to do training... there are so many other options!
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WHAT DOES CURRENCY MEAN?
- Something that speaks to your dog that they find valuable that can be good reinforcer when training your dog
Valuable: something that your dog actually cares about
Reinforcer: something that says to your dog that what they did was correct or good, they get something added to their environment which increases the chances that your dog will repeat that behavior
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND YOUR DOG’S CURRENCY
- Different dogs have different currency
- It’s important to know what motivates your dog the most to know what will motivate them enough to train
- What you reinforce, will be repeated, so you want to make sure to reward them when they do what you want them to do
WHAT KIND OF REINFORCERS ARE THERE?
- Praise / Attention
IF YOUR DOG’S TOP LEVEL OF REINFORCEMENT IS X DOES THAT MEAN YOU CAN’T TRY Y and Z?
- Although your dog’s top level of currency might be play that doesn’t mean you can’t try something else
- When you are asking your dog for something really difficult or in a new environment, you want to use your dog’s highest level of reinforcement
- BUT if you are practicing behaviors your dog kind of knows, or polishing something up, you can try other reinforcements
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE USE THE SAME REINFORCER OVER AND OVER?
- You need to mix things up!
- What can happen when using the same reinforcer is that it can become less exciting for your dog
- Mix up the categories of how you give reinforcements
- Mix up the flavors of training treats so your dog will look forward to what the reinforcement might be
Don’t expect your dog to have the same currency or mindset as other dogs. Just like humans, dogs too have different ideas and opinions and things they love. Mix up your dog’s currency, and find what works best for them.