The acquisition of food shapes behavior. Birds, lions, foxes, wolves, bees, ants, bears, deer.. learn and practice behaviors that result in the acquisition of viable food. Their ability to forage, track, chase and hunt are all behaviors that are constantly being fine tuned by daily successes and failures. Not only does the acquisition of food shape behavior, but it also regulates emotional responses, strengthens bonds for those species that live within social constructs and enhances problem solving skills. In essence it is what makes them mentally and physically fit for survival.
Taking all this into account, it's easy to see why feeding dogs in a dog bowl leaves a lot of empty space for bad habits to develop. The mental and physical energy that would normally be utilized by the dog's brain and body, fuels the most common behavioral issues: reactivity, fear, anxiety, aggression and hyper-activity. Using food for training and enrichment should be an everyday occurrence. Training with food is an enriching activity that gives your dog something to think about, problems to solve and fortifies the human-canine bond. It nourishes them mentally, physically and emotionally.
Written by Alyssa Lapinel, CPDT-KA
Alyssa Rose, CPDT-KA
Certified by the Council for Professional Dog Trainers