I have two little dachshunds who sleep in their crates, their beds, in our bedroom. Every night when it’s bedtime I tell them “go to bed” and I break one of the little “snap” treats in half to give them.
These little wafers rarely ever break evenly, and I’ve always told them “first dog in bed gets the biggest piece” That’s always Hoosie, the smallest and oldest. Always most obedient, in this case anyway.
Daisy, the black and white piebald, always hangs back. I thought she was just less obedient, but I noticed the reason she hangs back is because she is waiting on my wife….her “Mommy”
So, there’s the conundrum. Should I be rewarding obedience, or loyalty? Obedience might one day save their life if the situation ever arose where they really needed to obey. Loyalty might do the same, or perhaps even go a step further and the stubborn loyalty might protect the “leader of the pack”
Both of these are qualities which we humans also exhibit. Which is the better in us? Should we be obedient, and if so, to who and under what circumstances?? Should we be unquestionably loyal, and if so how long, and to whom?
I decided with the dogs that I would just alternate nights of giving them the biggest piece. As long as both are being rewarded for what they perceive is their best quality then I don’t think they care who gets the biggest piece. After all, they are dogs and it really doesn’t matter to them. The only thing that would bother them would be getting no reward.
As for we people, I wish decisions which we must make could be so easily discerned. Nothing is ever that simple for us though. Too many nuances and careful considerations must enter into deciding who gets the biggest piece. A lot of times we still get bit on the hand too.
Time for me to close up my “crate” and get some sleep.