We all need a paycheck, either financial or emotional. Dogs are no different.
If we’re going ask them to spend four hours on an 80 degree day slogging through sticker bushes there’d better be a paycheck when they find the missing person.
Sierra’s paycheck was a simple orange tennis ball. She was completely psychotic for the toy, and only got it when she’d led me to a missing or hidden (training) subject. Once in her mouth, she refused to give it back. As sweet as Sierra was, I would loved to have seen a tax attorney or IRS agent try to get 28% of that particular paycheck. They’d have lost 28% of their fingers, I’m sure.
Ruger on the other hand prefers a squeaky rubber Kong stick. Check the look on his face in the picture below. He looks like he just won the K9 lottery.
Regardless of the toy involved, it’s presented with effusive praise from both the handler and the subject. Effusive is an old Indian word for “if you don’t feel stupid, you’re not doing it right.” Handler and subject speak in falsetto voices and tell Fido they’re “thebestdoginthewholeworldyestheyare!!” With a new dog, you might search for two minutes and play for five.
It is amazing what our canine friends will do for a squeaky toy and a belly rub.
They find more than people, too. They’re all supposed to find articles that might have been discarded by a missing subject. We call those “clues.” But did you know they can find a truck? Well, at least they can find MY truck.
Up next: “Let’s go back to the truck!”