Sometimes when mom and I are out in public, and I want to say hello to someone, she will often hand them some of my treats for them to give to me. Sometimes people will say “Oh, you want your dog to like me?” Ugh, if I could talk in human language, this is what I’d say: “It’s about trusting you, not “liking” you!”
I’ve learned from overhearing human conversations, that you “don’t take candy from strangers”. Well I agree – if some random person just walked up and handed me food without my mom the dog trainers permission, it might not be a good idea for me to take it. She and my dad are always watching out for me, so this sort of thing doesn’t usually happen. If someone wants to give me a treat, they ask permission first.
But let me make it clear, food to us dogs is one way that you humans can help build trust between us. That’s what it’s all about! Goodness gracious, “liking you”? No no, it’s more about, can I trust you to take care of me? Provide good things for me? Care for me? Keep me safe and out of harms way? It’s all about “nurturing”! And food is definitely nurturing…to every animal.
Once we trust you, we can begin to associate you with wonderful things…and that’s what our goal is. You’re not much different ya know. Your entire human world revolves around food…in every culture. You bring meals to others because you care, not because you want someone to like you, right? Mom posted something about the human world food culture in one of her blog posts….
So the next time you’re out and about, and someone wants to give your dog a treat, go ahead and let them… building trust in the human race!
Hmm, I wonder when mom and I are going out again? I wonder if she’ll have other give me treats? Something for this inquisitive canine to ponder…