As many of you will know, while Ray came to us with a lot of “emotional baggage” from his past, one of his more positive traits was his love of food …………….. all food!
Training him using food as the incentive certainly helped him to adjust to the life of a domesticated dog relatively easily. In fact food and positive training techniques made it so routine that I often reflect and wonder what would we have done if he had not been food motivated? He does not get too excited over toys so that alternative training incentive would have been rather pointless!
After reading that rutabaga was quite good at keeping teeth clean, we gave him a piece and he loved it. Green Kale stems? Loved them! By the end of last year, he had convinced us that there was nothing that he did not like!
While the rutabaga and kale stems were a bit of a surprise (very much an acquired taste), one interesting experience was when we introduced him to watermelon. We had no doubts that, based on his history with us, he would love it and we were not disappointed!
On a hot summer day, we cut a watermelon in order to produce slices which we could easily handle and held one out to Ray. With no hesitation whatsoever, he started working through the first slice in much the same manner as we would have done. In fact the only difference was that one of us had to hold the slice while he ate it. When he had finished, he had pretty much devoured all the flesh and just left the outside rind/skin ………. much as we would have done, and with teeth marks to show just how close to the edge he went!
He is either getting more like us, or dogs can simply figure out the most efficient way of eating anything. I suspect the latter!