Whenever your dog displays good behavior, how do you reward him?
Normally, we give our well-behaved canines toys and treats as rewards. But a new study shows that your pooch loves you more than anything you give him.
So, spending more time with your pet makes him happier and healthier.
A group of researchers studied on 13 dogs and the conclusion will surprise you. The dogs were asked to choose between food or owner’s praise.
Most of them chose praise, but also appreciated the food equally. The challenge here is to understand the dog-human relationship and why most dogs prefer owner bond more than the food itself.
Two of the thirteen dogs tend to prefer food over praise. The study also involved training the dogs to connect various objects with various outcomes.
After teaching the dogs how to connect certain colors of toys to food reward or verbal praise, they were introduced to specific objects while their brains were scanned and measured based on the response they make.
Four of them strongly responded to objects that symbolize their owner’s praise, while nine showed the same responses to objects connected to food and praise based on the brain scan.
However, two dogs showed a consistent response to objects connected to food rather than the objects that led to praise. The findings were based on a published journal called Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience.
In addition, another experiment was conducted by the researchers. Using baby gates, a maze was constructed to form a Y shape. Dogs were positioned at the starting line of the maze and asked to choose between two paths.
The first path leads to the owner while the other one leads the dogs to the food. The dogs that responded to objects which led to praise also chose the same path that led them to their owner. On the other hand, the dogs that responded to objects which led to food chose the same path going to their food.
The studies and experiments weren’t conclusive in terms of what affects the choices of the dogs. For instance, future researchers may study the genetics and breed of dogs in order to understand the influencing factors regarding food and praise preferences.
The findings described how some dogs appreciate their owner’s praise rather than a bowl of food. It can be compared to how you feel when other people compliments or flatters you. This can be evident because of the social nature of our furry friends.
The next time you reward your dog after a good behavior, make sure to include a lot of praise along with a treat. After all, your pooch loves your attention and time more than any material reward. And that’s what genuinely makes dogs a man’s best friend.
So, if you are wondering why your pup is more attached to you when you keep on praising him, these studies perfectly gave the answers you’ve been looking for.
Got a good dog? Always commend your pet for more good behaviors.