But My Dog Is Not Food-Motivated
When clients say “But my dog is not food-motivated” in an initial interview, my response is “not yet.” Eating is an operant behavior. Therefore, we can increase its probability and intensity and lower its latency through structured training procedures. While this might seem laughable if you have a ravenous Rottweiler or always-hungry hound, situations that require skilled intervention abound: a senior dog with a fading appetite; a wary dog that has learned to distrust treats; a little dog that is fussy about meals; or a dog threatened by conditioned anorexia. While various medical conditions (requiring veterinary expertise) may create finicky eaters, so can unwise behavioral practices. We’ll review several common mistakes and provide alternatives.