Saturday, June 26, 2010

Child & Dog Motivate & Reward Each Other

excited dog and baby @ Yahoo! Video
Here is a cute & funny example of how animals & humans can interact based on non-verbal or non-word communication involving only action, laughter & facial expression of both parties involved. Both the dog & child are smiling which acts as a reinforcer or incentive for both parties to continue what they are doing. The child's laughter serves as yet another reward/motivator/reinforcer/incentive for the dog to continue playing with the child. The dog's act of running around, playing with the child each time the child moves toward the dog serves as a reinforcer to the child to continue to move toward the dog. It could be hypothesized that the dog desires intimacy with the child which is why it rewards the child by playing with it each time the child moves towards it. This hypothesis is supported when the dog eventually licks the child as a kiss which could be another way of rewarding the child for interacting with it. Both parties seem to desire attention from each other & are rewarding each other for giving that attention. There seems to be both a push motivator of desiring attention/interaction/imtimacy & a pull incentive of receiving attention/interaction/intimacy. This is a symbiotic relationship.


  1. This is an absolutely adorable video post. The dog definitely uses the child's laughter as a reward and/or motivation to keep playing with them. The dog clearly picks up the positive energy and smiling face of the child as a motive to continue to play, keeping the pattern of laughing and fun going. My dog actually does the exact same thing when my family and I play with her!

  2. What an adorable post. I have had very similar experiences with my own dog and children. It seems that they motivated by eachother. No words are necessary all the motivation comes from laughter and body language.