Yesterday, I mentioned storing food treats around the house. This is a great tool, especially for food motivated dogs. There are other types of rewards as well. These include non-food items (toys, chews) and activities (walks, bell rubs).
Often called “life rewards,” it is important that these rewards actually be rewarding for your dog. Is a bath rewarding? Probably not for most dogs, but possibly for some. Is a walk rewarding? Probably for most dogs, but possibly not for some.
Your knowledge of your dog will be the best way for you to judge what is a good life reward. However, it is important to think about what is rewarding for your dogs rather than what you think “should” be rewarding. This may differ from one dog to another and from one circumstance to another. For example, for one dog, a belly rub may be rewarding in the living room, but not on a walk. For another dog, it may not be rewarding in either circumstance.