Too Much “Structure” Compromises Your Working Dog’s Welfare

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla discusses the structure and welfare of a conservation detection dog! This episode is heavily inspired by Sarah Stremming’s Cog Dog Radio Podcast Episode titled “Drive, Deprivation, and Desperation”. 

  • Be careful to not label desperation or deprivation as drive
  • Limited your dogs access to toys or other fun in order to “build drive”, it is a welfare issue
  • Try not to build up an obsession with the reinforcers to best avoid desperation and deprivation
  • Welfare is appropriate food, enrichment, exercise, and anything that would meet the dogs needs.Just because your dog is working doesnèt mean they shouldn’t get these needs met. They still need to “just be a dog”. 
  • “If your dog doesn’t want to work anymore just because you’re giving them a good life off duty, you need to reassess both your training plans and your welfare plans for your dog.”
  • Modifying incentives isn’t bad, structure can be important to your dog’s health and safety

Links Mentioned in the Episode:

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