Yes, I Bribe My Dog. What About You?


I couldn’t help but laugh

Yes, I admit, I bribe my dog.  I have committed the cardinal sin in the dog training world.  Cesar Milan and Victoria Stilwell would be appalled at my behavior.  I don’t even want to think of the scolding I would get for reinforcing bad behavior in  my dog, Baylie.  I have no excuse  for rewarding Baylie for bad behavior other than I am old, and I just don’t feel like running through the house chasing Baylie with the lid to the margarine container she just stole from the kitchen countertop.  Trust me, it’s easier to shout, “treat” accompanied by the rattling of the treat jar to stop the sprint.  Recently, I put into play a little reverse psychology.  The less interest I show in retrieving an object,  the less interested Baylie is to run with it or guard it. I just let her lose  interest on her terms.  Smart, huh?  Plus, I have to admit, it can be quite entertaining at times just seeing what she will get into next.


Before Baylie was found as a pup along side of the road and plopped into my arms, I had not been a dog parent  in over 25 years. I had to program my brain to Dog Mode to keep my sanity.  I thought my cat was a force to be reckoned with as a kitten, but she doesn’t hold a candle to the mischief my Border Collie/Great Pyrenees mix can get into.  Nowhere in the doggie owner’s manual did it address how to deal with the mayhem that comes with a dog having the reach of an octopus.

Desperate times call for drastic measures.  When a ninety-pound “puppy” snags your Ralph Lauren bifocals from the coffee table and takes off in an all out race; chewing as she goes, believe me, the farthest thing from your mind is thinking  “what would Victoria Stilwell do in this situation”.  You know the more you chase, the more of a game it will become.  So what do you do?  You run for the jar of treats to beg and barter for those eyeglasses.  Praying worked well when my new retainer was finally found in an unlikely place other than in Baylie’s bed.

Baylie breezed through  “beginning” puppy training class as she had already mastered most of the basic commands at home.  The “intermediate” puppy class is where we hit a wall and dropped out so other four-legged classmates could learn.  Yes, we took one for the team but so was the end of the “drop it”, “leave it”  training.


Baylie is now out of the terrible two’s and into the pre-teen years. At least she won’t be asking for the keys to the car but she still has her moments of rebellion. She no longer grabs every item within her reach.  Trimming the Christmas tree for the first time came off without a hitch.  Amazingly, she showed little interest.  However, she still has a hankering for all paper products; including money.  She loves to abscond with socks, the cat’s toys, dryer sheets and any item that falls to the floor.  Counter surfing is her favorite sport.  She enjoys swiping  all items placed on the kitchen countertops; whether food or non-food items.  Don’t turn your back for a second to get the condiments out of the fridge and expect your sandwich to be in the condition you left it.

graduation (3)

We are making progress in our tug of war between species.  At least I no longer walk out into the back yard and find my throw pillows scattered about but still, there is work to be done. So, until that time, we’ll keep copious amounts of dog treats on hand for those difficult moments.  No matter what the books say, it works for us.  Sometimes, you just have to let your dog do what he/she does best and; that is,  being a dog.

  • katsrus

    I’m sorry but; your post made me laugh. I could just see Baylie and you right behind. Sounds like she keeps you going. Sure is cute. I haven’t had a dog for many years but; my Blondie loved bar soap and she could reach it from the tub. Learned to hide away. She always found something to get into. She had a green face and paws just in time for St Pattys Day as she found my air fern(don’t think they make these anymore). I do have a couple cats that keep me going now. Garfield I call my treasure hunter as he is always finding something in the bathroom trash cans. They are not used or covered up now. And Cashew will steal food right out of your hand if not looking. They sure are entertaining even if they do wear you down some days. Love the treat idea. Sometimes you just got to do what works for you.
    Sue B

  • dh_jax

    I will admit I bribe my dogs too, including my own Bailey. It works…. Lol. When my “naughty boy” a sheltie named bambam wants to run around the yard ignoring me, all I have to do is ask him if he wants his favorite treat, which for him is anything frozen and cold, which we call “ice-cream” he loves a taste of frozen yogurt or doggie frozen snacks or anything cold and frozen and “ice cream” is his magic word…..he will stop and run immediately to me if I so much as whisper his magic word…. And my dogs too have an obsession with paper products…..yours is not the only one who has been known to carry around a roll of toilet paper! And mine also shred dryer sheets to my dismay….So…..I do the same….continue to offer bribes and allow my babies to “just be dogs” and they are happy and love me and that’s what matters most! Lol

  • Andra Graham Oyler

    I did not realize that this was called bribing. That’s such a harsh name for it, don’t you think? Perhaps we could come up with another name to describe this behavior of ours. Personally I like ‘gifting’. 😉

    • Or barter, @andragrahamoyler:disqus 😉

  • PawesomeCats

    Sometimes a pet mum has to do, what a pet mum has to do!

  • Flea

    Oh good heavens. A Great Pyr and Border Collie? Smarts and stubbornness? God has a special place in His heart for you. Baylie sure is cute, though!

    • Thank you Flea! And thank you for stopping by. Hope you will check out my FB page as well.! Woof! Baylie

      • Flea

        I clicked Like! FaceBook won’t let me be Flea, unfortunately. They always reject the name when I ask, even though it really is my name, so you’ll see me as Felicia. 🙂