After much prompting and cajoling, I finally found this list in Shiva’s crate this morning. The dog does not like to conform, let me tell you.
Thanks, Sheevs. I appreciate your diplomacy. Also, you have to start watching your grammar. No cookies for you!
Deborah Flick of Boulder Dog recently wrote a post listing many og the things that fill her dog’s heart with joy. I thought this was a brilliant way to keep positive, despite whatever training issues crop up. It’s also a great way to keep track of the things my dog finds motivating. A potential list of real-life rewards I can pull out if things start to get dull.
1. Dodging trees in the forest – Sometimes dodging, sometimes running straight into them. I love having an off-leash trail so close to home and so does Shiva. In the early morning, when no one else is around, it is the best place to be.
2. Zoomies at the dog park – When we un-clip the leash and tell her to “go play!” Shiva generally interprets that as “go run in wide circles over and over and over again.” It’s more awesome when other dogs join in the chase but she has a blast either way.
3. Chasing birds – This is not something I generally encourage except for that one time I shared a video. But if there is no one around and the birds are located in an off-leash park? Weeeelllll… I can’t stop nature from taking its course, right? Besides, there is no way she’s smart enough to actually catch one.
4. Playing the Find the Toilet Paper Roll game – I am running out of hiding spaces! Shiva loves searching for things, especially things she can eat or destroy. She gets this crazy frantic look on her face as she runs around the house, sniffing every corner and under every piece of furniture. Kind of like how I looked this morning while searching for her Kong. Only much happier.
5. Destroying stuffed animals/shoes/the PH’s socks/boxes/cat toys/anything that is on the floor – I think this all speaks for itself.
6. Tugging with my practically husband – Apparently it is just not as much fun with me. I tire too easily and don’t tug back nearly as hard. When Shiva tugs, she likes to fling her entire body around. The more she growls, the more she is enjoying herself.
7. Agility! Agility! Agility! – When Shiva sees an obstacle, she lunges forward to take it, regardless of the poor human (usually me) holding the other end of the leash. She loves it that much. Shiva is the only dog I have ever seen who will take the teeter from either end.
8. Running – Shiva just likes to run, in whatever form she can. She has a permanent case of the zoomies. Run, race, zoom, jog, dash, sprint, tear, gallop! More, more, more!
9. Marrow bones – The soundtrack to our Christmas this year was the “scrape, chomp, scrape” of Shiva’s teeth against bone. It was a lot more peaceful than it sounds.
10. Meeting new dogs – Shiva loves putting her newfound social abilities to good use. Unfortunately, she still lacks general manners so I don’t let her greet too many we don’t already know. Which just makes her love it all the more.
What do you do to keep the joy alive when your dog is being a cranky-pants? I’d love to hear your suggestions!