I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
|Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 4:21pm PST |
|Tiller, to address some of the points in your post:
"Dogs are still natural creatures, of nature and with their own inbuilt things that are affirming and satiating. They are not nibblers, not browsers."
Actually, many dogs seem to be. Some are free-fed and prefer to "nibble"at will. This does not happen to be my dog!
"Those who feed raw...and I have individualized feeding per dog, using raw in part....are very aware of how inwardly fulfilling it is for the dog to have his prey item. We also experience with our dogs and their bones."
Yes, this I agree with. Just because I use my dog's kibble (primary feeding) for training does not mean I don't also give her bones, chews, Kongs etc. These offer little in the way of sustenance, but they do fulfill that predatory need.
" I know for my fosters, I will often give chewies...almost always have a bag, and for a stressed dog, they are incredibly reassuring. We say that Kongs and such are great distraction techniques, true, but what we OVERLOOK is that a dog given something to work through, time for his meals, his bowl, etc., this is inwardly affirming to him that he is safe, that life is good, stable, the environment is well stocked. In nature, leaner pickings, little nibbles, has high potential to be a natural cue that the pickings are lean environmentally, and it is time to move on, certainly for a more nomadic species."
Again, agreeing with the value of the Kong, but disagree that eating from my hand is less satisfying than eating from a bowl. Hand-feeding helps to cement the bond between dog and handler. Unless you free-feed; allowing the dog constant access to food, how does seeing a meal in a dish make a dog believe there is any more food available to him than if he receives it from a person? I believe that seeing "his person" as the consistent provider of good things will create stability and a desire to stay near that person, not "move on" as you say.
"The concept to me of a dog not having a meal is something I personally find disturbing."
I find it insulting that because I carry her food in my pocket, you think my dog doesn't have a meal. A great part of our daily ritual is the walk. Most of Lupi's food is fed to her on our walks, as we practice heeling, obedience, meeting strangers, etc. Often she gets fed following a rabbit chase. This is far more fulfilling to her than dish-feeding. It's as close to eating her prey as she'll likely ever get (she spots a rabbit, I let her chase, call her back and reward with food, release to chase again, etc.)
"Although I have non foodie types, I have only had one dog in my lifetime who wasn't very gooey about food time. This is something I would never shorten/restrict, and for those who do, ok, but I personally consider it cruel. This is something that brings a dog a sense of security. In all this talk about what a primary reinforcer food is, to take from a dog that natural thing that speaks to him, that meal he can work on, that BIG prey source (even it it's a bowl of kibble), is a very strong affirmation of the security of his life. A wild dog whose day is getting dribs and drabs is not one who is thriving. One would imagine nature would be willing him on to nab something bigger."
The only part I agree with here is that it is cruel to deprive dogs of their sense of routine. Again, with my dog our training sessions ARE her routine, her sense of security. Moreover, I regularly offer her the choice to eat a bowl full of kibble and she has never chosen to do that, turning instead to me, wanting to earn that food. This is not just my dog-every dog I dogsit has been the same. Way more fun to play "find it" or practice new tricks than to simply recieve a bowl of food. Dogs are intelligent, social animals. They want to hunt, to wor,k and on top of that, they enjoy pleasing us. There is nothing of the "wild animal" in a dish-meal. Moreso in a good raw meal, to be sure, but even still...not the same as having earned it.
"I am not saying you do this, Lupi, but you do see recommendations that you can CREATE a foodie by such a process, and that is something that deeply disturbs me and takes the "kinder" out of "kinder and gentler."
I certainly don't agree with starving a dog to make it perform, nor have I ever seen this recommended. Not the point I'm making at all.
"Beyond this, kibble is something that can end up low on the value scale, particularly if this strategy is meant to condition in atmospheres that are highly distracting."
This is true. However, as a start, it's great.
"You don't need to make it that complicated. Just straight positive associations with his name, AND, I would argue, it is better if you mix it up rather than be a food junkie. If only food, he may anticipate and can weigh the equation. Better to use name = bum scritch, happy dance, steak piece off the counter, tug game!, time to run outside and play!, squeaky toy!, let's play chase!"
It's not complicated. Name=food is the most uncomplicated equation there is. All those other rewards are great, but if you're talking shelter dog, food is the best place to start. Because it IS as you mentioned, a primary reinforcer.
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