Your Dog’s Basic Needs Piggy Bank
Have you ever stopped to think about your personal needs, those parts of your life that help you to feel satisfied, fulfilled, happy and safe? Ask yourself, “Are you investing in your dog’s basic needs piggy bank?” (or really any captive animal you share your life with) Those are things that really should be considered […] The post Your Dog’s Basic Needs Piggy Bank first appeared on So Much PETential.
Have you ever stopped to think about your personal needs, those parts of your life that help you to feel satisfied, fulfilled, happy and safe? Ask yourself, “Are you investing in your dog’s basic needs piggy bank?” (or really any captive animal you share your life with) Those are things that really should be considered every day that you share with your pet because they speak to your pet’s quality of life, your relationship with your pet, and minimizing problem behaviors…and stress. Ask yourself, “Am I investing enough into my dog’s basic needs piggy bank?”
I’ll begin by sharing about myself.
My Basic Needs Piggy Bank list includes these needs (among others):
Social interaction with friends, loved ones, and others who I can share/talk/laugh with
Positive encouragement, especially when I am feeling discouraged
Physical activity including exercise in the gym and outdoor activities
Doing things that are making a positive difference in the lives of others
Creative problem solving
The more of those needs that are fulfilled regularly, if not daily, the more I feel fulfilled, energized. I sleep better at night. I am more productive during the day. The more of those needs that go unfilled, the more I can have a tendency to feel stressed, prone to lose focus, have trouble sleeping through the night.
In addition, I tend to perform better when I am working for or around others who give positive feedback. I think I am not alone in that area. There has been so much research and written articles about the power of positive reinforcement in creating higher productivity in the workplace, the classroom and personal relationships. I wrote this guest editorial for our Cincinnati Enquirer eight years ago about the power of positive reinforcement.
Your Dog’s Basic Needs Piggy Bank
Now think about the basic needs your dog, parrot, cat, or other animal. (For this post, I will be talking about your dog).
Below are some needs that would be high on your dog’s list.
Just like with you and me, if you are not giving your dog means (that are acceptable to you) for getting those needs met, it can take away from your pet’s quality of life. It can also lead to your dog doing behaviors that you do not like because, after all, your dog is only doing what works to fill his/her piggy bank. That can cause you a lot of stress. That stress may lead to your using more aversive strategies to get your dog to stop doing whatever it is you do not like. Aversive punishments to behavior have so many potential negative ramifications for your pet AND for you (and your relationship with your pet).
To keep yourself from having to go down that path of becoming a punishment user, think about the animal in front of you and what your individual dog needs. Then give your dog plenty of opportunities to get those needs met in ways you approve. Positive reinforcement isn’t only about you doing formal training with your dog. When your dog settles with a bully stick, he is being positive reinforced for laying with relaxed muscles. When your dog is working to push a ball around, the mental and physical stimulation is positively reinforcing his independent play. When your dog comes in from a long hike and naps in his crate, getting needed sleep is positively reinforcing his laying down in a closed crate. Meanwhile, practice good management to prevent practice of those unwanted behaviors.
The extra time you put into planning your dog’s piggy bank deposits, will be a huge investment in your having the best life together.Your Dog’s Basic Needs Piggy Bank first appeared on So Much PETential.