Study: Dogs Prefer Praise Over Treats

If you thought your dog only loves you for providing food, think again. A new study to be published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience looked at the brain activity of 15 dogs as they were first shown a toy car and praised by their owners, and then when they were given a toy horse with a piece of a hot dog by their owners. The data revealed that 13 of the dogs showed an equal or greater response in the area of the brain associated with decision-making and reward when reinforced with praise rather than treats. This study is too small to support any definite conclusions, but it does mirror previous findings that suggest the love between dogs and their owners is mutual. (Mental Floss