==> What is your GSD's favourite TREAT?
No, definitely not food - Find out more here
German Shepherd TOP TREATS
Say the word "treat", and almost every dog owner will instantly think of foods for their dog.
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A food treat is always welcome, yes, no question. Both, the dog loves to get a food treat, and we as the dog owner outright love to give one, right?
Why is that? Have you thought about it?
Dog owners love to give their dog a food treat because:
- It makes us feel important as we care for our dog
- It gives us the feeling of having some authority over someone (for once?)!
- It makes us feel that we match the social norm that is convincingly communicated to us through a flood of advertisements on TV etc
- It lets us feel that we care about our dog
- and we subconsciously hope that our dog will love us even more!
However, this is what food treats actually mean to most dogs:
- Mmmhhh, my pack buddy has something yummy for me again!
- I really wanna get that yummy piece into my mouth
- But I'll have to work harder then to show my pack buddy that I am the pack leader nonetheless!
- My pack buddy must not think that (s)he can control me just because (s)he has something yummy for me!
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Point three and four above indicate that giving food treats the wrong way can increase the Pack conflict - this crucial point will be the topic of a special Periodical in 6 weeks!
And food treats typically aren't TOP TREATS for a dog anyway - whether German Shepherd or another dog breed. But WHAT dog treat is it then?
The answer is quite simple, it is:
When you treat your GSD, you provide your dog with unusual PLEASURE. For dogs, pleasure is more short-lived than for us humans, but still it's the product of intensity times duration:
Therefore, a really good treat for your German Shepherd does not have to be something edible at all. Just give it a few moments and think:
- When is your dog wagging its tail most feverishly?
- What makes your GSD all playful and excited?
- Which place is your dog crazy about?
- What gives you regularly the most successful Recall?
Questions like these can help you to identify what your dog really LOVES. These are your dog's TOP TREATS.
Treat your GSD with what (s)he loves most. Rather than a tasty morsel, this is probably some kind of ACTIVITY with you.
Edible treats are NOT Top Treats
Let's assume you have prepared the most tastiest morsel for your GSD. Still, the amount of pleasure your GSD takes from the tasty morsel is exactly limited to the time it takes your dog to swallow that morsel.
Conversely, the amount of pleasure your GSD takes from an activity with you that (s)he LOVES is guaranteed to be much greater: Because it lasts so much longer!
To provide your dog with the same amount of pleasure through tasty morsels as through one of the dog's favourite activities would require so many tasty morsels that you would rear an obese German Shepherd!
More: You would get the chance to witness a unique situation - one where your dog would STOP snatching the tasty morsels, being FED UP with your tasty morsels(!), regardless how immensely tasty they were in the beginning.
Conclusion of the above:
Now the question is all the more: What are the German Shepherd TOP TREATS?
Here are some ideas for the TOP TREATS that your dog is bound to LOVE:
- OFF THE LEASH!
Yes! Wherever you can, without a risk to your dog, other people or animals, take your GSD off-leash! Only running around FREELY will make a herding dog like the GSD really happy.
'Running around FREELY' also means: Don't stress out your dog with commands all the time. In case of doubt, your dog will be fine! Again: Your dog will be fine.
(S)he WILL come back to you, (s)he will not kill a cat or anything, and (s)he will not get lost, no worries! So, just let the dog wander around on its own, as much as is sensible, given the environment you are in. You will experience just how relaxing this is, both for your dog and for yourself.
This freedom really is CRUCIAL. Herding dogs like the German Shepherd were never bred to be on-leash at all! And in many situations and environments a leash is certainly not needed. - Of course, subject to your dog being well-trained!?
In far fewer, but nonetheless in some situations indoors, take off the collar too. The ideal environment for a German Shepherd is where all forms of physical restraint are substituted by trained restraints.
But note: Do not take off the collar if you have a puppy (in terms of behavior, ie probably until age around 15 months). Such young dogs - no matter how well-trained (seemingly) - are prone to sudden erratic behavior, and this could be dangerous even in environments where a trained adult dog would be 100% safe. When the situation requires it, you must have something to securely grab and hold onto: the collar.
And, at all other times, if only you choose the right collar, then your dog won't even notice it. For outside, and certainly in the dark, a reflective collar is indispensable, but a bright-colored strong and soft leather collar can be even better, thanks to its unbeatable feel-good factor. - Again, we have the one just linked, it's awesome.
So, OFF-LEASH is a TOP treat!
- DAY AT THE BEACH
A day at the beach (or just an hour) will be both exciting and relaxing for your German Shepherd (and for you too). You both deserve this, so: Enjoy it!
Your dog will get the freedom to enjoy a totally different environment, and learn a lot too. You on the other hand will get a chance to explore your dog's needs, and also to train your GSD in a new setting.
A trip to the beach once in a while is energizing, both for you and your GSD, and a perfect outlet for your dog's excess energy. A LOT of varied exercise is what will relax your German Shepherd.
You may have felt this yourself: "A bath in the ocean is a bath for the soul".
As much for you as for your dog. You both need it and deserve it. So really, just do it! (copied from Nike)
However, do shower off the saltwater when your dog finished swimming. Once back home, our own dogs always got a bit of our favourite cream-conditioner. A personal treatment like this perfectly rounds-off the day for the dogs, and keeps them calm and relaxed, and they look very happy indeed.
For us a day on the beach has become an enjoyable routine, but the dogs enjoy it everytime as if it was their first time, right?
So, BEACH is a TOP treat!
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Disclaimer: Always apply your own common sense when you follow anyone's suggestions. As much as your dog is special (s)he may react different too.
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