Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Love Of A Dog

Recently, I got some Youtube comments from someone that said I do not love my dogs because I did not show them any affection in any of my Youtube videos. No need to look for the comments, I deleted them and blocked the viewer. Well, I can’t argue with crazy. True, I have not posted any videos of kissing, cuddling, or hugging, but you can hardly define my love for my greyhounds from 1 minute video clips.

So let us talk about affection and praise used as a reward. The expression about the dog wanting to please the master comes to mind.….. Can humans get anymore self-centered? You could liken that to me going to work 5 days a week to please my boss. While I love my job and think the world of my boss, my motivation for pleasing my boss is so he will pay me. I believe it is the same for most dogs. If I am happy with my greyhounds, good things happen for them.

My job as a trainer that uses positive reinforcement is to make what I want to also be pleasing for the dogs. It should be a win-win situation for all involved. Assuming that all dogs work for praise is somewhat insulting for man’s best friend. They are all so different. Some dogs work for food. Other dogs may work for special toys, tugging, or a game of fetch. Some dogs find the work itself to be rewarding (those crazy border collies). Others may work for affection. Most dogs probably work for a combination of the above depending upon the request being made and it is the trainer’s job to find the right mix of rewards.

Katie is a fine example of a dog that would be thoroughly insulted with affection as a reward. She and I are not affectionate by nature. Just ask my parents, I was not a cuddly baby. If my hubby, Stephen, tries to stop me in the middle of cleaning the house for a hug, I glaze over and continue to run the to-do list through my head..... sorry, Snookums. While Katie and I both love our massages and back scratches, the time just isn’t right when we are busy.

During Katie's early training, I noticed early on that she would step away when I would try to praise her. Her interest is solely in the food. Today at age 10, Katie is more accepting of praise, but that is probably an association with a possible food reward. Happy mom = praise = food.

Katie has become much sweeter and cuddlier over the years. I love taking a nap with her or just snuggling up to her and I think she loves it too now. She loves a good scrub with a grooming mitt. But its not what she wants when she finds the correct scent article.... The girl loves to eat!

The other day, Stephen and I were walking all 6 dogs and we passed a woman with an old man in a wheelchair/scooter. He was a World War 2 vet. He immediately called to our greyhounds and they surged in for greeting…… each one pushing the other out of the way for some of his attention. All except for Katie.

Sometimes people ask if Katie is shy, but in reality she just does not seek much human attention like the others do. My point is that it is ok for a dog to have that preference and it is ok to respect that.

Now Riley and Reagan are much more affectionate than Katie and I feel that it is appropriate to include praise as a reward (although they definitely need food also). However, I figure that most people watch my videos for the action and not for the baby talk and scritches....... so I'm probably not going to be posting any affectionate videos anytime soon.


Maria Peters said...


Work is work....PDA not necessary. I did enjoy your pics, tho'! Good to see you smile.

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

Great post, makes perfct sense. And those are very cute pics! Self taken? Good job.
Again I think it's funny that someone would comment on your youtube video- if they come across Limo's videos they will see I only toture her with watermelon/pumpkin and make her watch the Dog Whisperer:-)

Zan said...

So let me make sure I understand - you spend untold hours working with and training your dogs because you don't like them?

There are people out there who can only make themselves feel good/important by putting down and belittling others accomplishments. On the internet I think we call them trolls.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Maria, I agree... I don't need PDA on Youtube :-).

Denise, yes, they are self taken. I liked how they turned out :-).

Well, Zan, she said that I only cared about performance. I'm not sure why some people think you can't love your dogs and blue ribbons, clean runs, and qualifying scores too. Parents love their kids, but they love to see them do well in sports/activities and get good grades.

What I do find so strange is that there are plenty of Youtube videos that are borderline (if not actually) abusive to animals. Why would you critize me for giving treats to a happy, tail wagging brindle that just willingly completed the teeter?



Addie said...

The only explanation I can come up with is that people are so flipping weird sometimes. How anyone could watch you with your dogs and dare say you don't love them is beyond me.

Great pictures, I'll add. I say ignore the weirdos and keep smiling.


BrittBeah said...

How do these weird people keep finding you? Who are they to think they should publicly criticize you and your dogs? I think you have plenty of pups and people to back you up positively :)

Michelle and Mitch said...

Sorry she was so rude to you! Not much from people suprises me anymore. Sounds like she has a couple of screws loose. Pay people like that no mind.

Greyt pictures BTW. =) Thanks for sharing.

Barb said...

I'm sorry you got such a stupid comment - that sort of thing always upsets me even though I know it shouldn't, given the source! (i.e a total idiot).

Mielikki's Hunt said...

oh lord, hope they never find my videos. .not as good as your training ones, but it's me working my dogs AND her racing. . LOL No PDA there, no praise, nada. . .videos of people loving their dogs is not something I look for on youtube LOL

gyeong said...

I am very touchy-feely with my dogs but not people. Just ask my jealous wife :) Doesn't mean I love her any less.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I didn't worry too much about the comments. Its nice that you can delete and block viewers if you have someone harrassing you. Like I said, you can't argue with Crazy. All the other comments have been positive.


Sientay L said...

We all know that working dogs, whether it be agility,obedience, hunting,or K-9, are just doing their jobs. They are rewarded/praised for their jobs with treats and toys. There is a separate time for love,affection, and cuddle time. At home, away from their jobs and duties.

Anyways, like Maria said, work is work... PDA not necessary.

We all know you love your hounds.

Snobound said...

Jen, you don't owe ANYONE an explanation as to why you don't show affection in your YouTube videos. People who leave those kinds of comments are the kind of nutters who believe that the animals should be living in the heated and air conditioned houses, wearing Prada and Gucci, and the humans should be put out to pasture! As Ceasar would say...exercise, discipline, and then affection! Keep up the great work.

ihatetoast said...

i almost always disallow comment on youtube. some people are fine, but those who aren't just need to be smacked. i'll show them affection. i love to smack youtube comment posters. they're just idiots. especially the ones who cruise pet videos. have you read some of those? they get bloody feral.

block away. no need to feel guilty. it's your video.

toopit tubers.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Welcome back, Toast! Love your hilarious comments. All of the Youtube comments have been nice until this one. Obviously, someone who is not all there. Probably is a hoarder with 50 neglected dogs and cats running around.