I’ve tried tons of tactics to get Moose to behave on walks. I started by using my best alpha, intimidating voice by barking at him to say “LEAVE IT!” When that didn’t work I tried what works for my other dog, who is highly food motivated, offer him treat after treat trying to get him to focus on me and behave. Moose just chewed the treats as fast as he could to clear his vocal cords, so he could carry on. It’s as if every time we faced a situation, he could sense me tensing up like “OH shit…here we go.”
Whether we are motivated by treats ($), the corner office, recognition or making an impact, there is not one person who doesn’t get a little pep in their step and want to do better when they hear words of affirmation. You are doing good. You make me proud. You inspire me to be better. You are making an impact. You make me happy.
Now when Moose and I go out for a walk or run, and I see someone approaching I gently and firmly hold his scruff and calmly say, “Good boy Moose. You're okay.” In dog language I believe this means ‘You got this. You’re doing good. I got you.’ When the situation passes he turns around and gives me this look. I will gently bop him on the nose and tell him “You’re a good boy!"
Believing someone is capable. Showing people you have confidence in them. Empowering them to be better. Telling them they did good. The best investment you can make.