What is a Motivator?

Denise Fenzi

A motivator is something we want; most of us can answer that pretty easily.  In the world of competition dogs, however, I often see something that is really confusing to me.  I routinely encounter people who are using rewards that their dog does not want, in order to reward behaviors that they DO want.

It looks like this:

Dog has just done a fabulous recall to her handler – fast and straight.  As a reward, the trainer whips out a toy and starts to play with the dog.  So far so good, except for one detail; the dog walks away because she does not want the toy.    The owner starts playfully hitting the dog on the butt with the toy and pulling on her hair.  The dog scurries around to face the trainer but still makes no effort to engage; she continues to reject the toy.

Refusing a toy…

View original post 1,047 more words

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