I think people can underestimate how smart dogs really are. One of the tricks Hero has learned is to feign injury or misery when he wants treats or to cuddle. He will make himself start shivering and looks quite depressed when he does it, but sometimes he’ll wag the tip of his tail really fast whiles he’s,doing it and it’s a dead giveaway that he is excited that the act paid off.
Our dog Flower tries an opposite approach when it comes to begging. He pretends to be disinterested, so as to not tip off his hand. It’s almost as if the more he wants something, the slower he is about accepting it. It really shows the differences in personalities that each dog has.
Pepper is very food motivated, so she will be quite insistant at times. Her strategy is to make sure that we know that she enjoys every bite. Even if we give her something like a melon of green bean, she will eat it begrudgingly because she wants us to know that she’ll never turn down the people food. It demonstrates a level of intelligence that is able to plan for the future which is quite remarkable to me.
Our dog Ace is the biggest, but he’s also more affection driven than treat driven. He has attached the positive encouragement and emotions he gets when we play ball to that affection. If you love bomb him he gets uncomfortable because he doesn’t understand why he is getting attention, but if he has his ball then he can accept the affection because ball ball. It’s very similar to how guys don’t really hug or express physical affection amoung each other, but then have no problem going into a scrum in rugby and wrestling around as long as their is some point to the comraderie.