Here’s an awesome new blog from Ashley Sculac over at canineresistancetraining.com.
It may be a pure semantics thing here, but it's something I need to write about because I really feel like we are doing training an injustice here. STOP saying your dog needs a job, because he or she does not. Your dog needs to work; and there is a difference as far as I am concerned. A job is something that is performed in exchange for payment, that you may or may not enjoy. Work, is something that takes physical and/or mental effort through an activity that is aimed toward production or accomplishment of a task (which you may not get paid for).
Loads of people flock to CRT, competitive weight pull, herding, dock diving, protection sports, as a means to give their dog a "job". How many times a day do you hear dog owners write or call you and say, " I want to enroll (insert dog's name here) into dock diving, or start tracking, because he needs a job to do". I wouldn't have enough fingers to count for every time I hear it...... and it's super annoying. If you have taken a look at my CRT material or ever listened to Jay Jack of Next Level Dogs, talk about the Layered Stress Model---then surely you have heard about biological fulfillment. The idea that you should find activities that your dog finds rewarding and fulfilling, not what you find rewarding and fulfilling--but your dog. Those two activities might be vastly different. You may really enjoy running 15 miles a day, and by giving your dog a "job"...you assume your dog should be doing that 15 miles WITH you; afterall a "good dog is a tired dog" right?
No....and this is what I am saying. You can tell your thirteen year old child to be productive and find some work to do, for many reasons, whatever those may be (staying out of trouble, engaging his mind, etc). He may decide he likes to paint or draw.... and spends hours painting and drawing. You gave him a job right? No..... It's work...it's productive and fulfilling---but it's not his "job". The same concept applies to your dog.