Stop before you lose the taste of the thing you enjoy
I was sitting down last night and had bought a bag of Raspberry Bullets to snack on. The first 2 (I eat them 2 at a time) were so nice. Sweet, milk chocolate, raspberry and that licorice hint. Oh yes! After a few more mouthfuls I started to notice the flavour was gone. Had they lost the taste or was I now used to the flavour so it wasn’t now noticeable to me?
It was, the latter. They didn’t have that sweetness that they had on the first few. So I thought, now that I have lost the real enjoyment, I should stop eating them and come back to them later when my taste buds have recovered and I can truly enjoy the flavour again. Well, that didn’t happen and I ate the whole bag but, as I got down to the last few it almost felt like a chore and I needed to finish them. No point putting away a small handful of them is there.
Can you see how this relates to our dogs and our rewards we use? It goes with playing with a ball, playing tug, using food, anything really. I don’t want to play tug with my dog until they are doing it with no enthusiasm and no taste for the game any more. The same when I use food rewards. At some stage, if I have used so much food it now isn’t rewarding, I’m losing what I set out to do which is, reward my dog with something they want.
Be aware of your training sessions and how long they go for. Make sure you finish the session while your dog still sees what you have as rewarding. Try different rewards as well, see what your dog loves.
And then for us as well, don’t lose the taste for what you enjoy…