As pet parents many of us will have experienced the guilt of walking out the door in the morning to go to work, knowing we are leaving our dog for the day. You know the dog walker will be in to take them out for an hour’s wander, but you worry if they’ll be bored while you’re out. But, have you ever wondered how lonely your dog is when you’re with them?
Anyone who’s heard of clicker training knows that dogs associate noises with certain behaviours. You ask a dog to sit, they sit, you use the clicker, and a treat appears. Of course, a simpler example would be the appearance of your furry family on the rustling of a food bag! Noises elicit responses
Bring that concept forward to modern society. How often have you been interacting with your dog for your phone to ping? You stop the interaction and pick your phone up, maybe it’s for a second or maybe the dreaded Facebook distracts you and you’re there on your phone for the foreseeable future. If you repeat that behaviour enough times then the dog learns that the ping of your phone means the removal of attention. You see it time and time again in human social interactions. You can be mid-conversation with someone and regardless of what you were talking about, if their phone makes a noise, attention is immediately removed and their phone becomes their sole focus.