One of the big challenges in managing people in corporate America is to foster teamwork while still rewarding individual performance. I am here to report that the same challenge exists with puppies.
Whenever I play fetch with Dempsey, I give him a little treat for giving the ball back to me nicely. (Otherwise, he'll just run off with it: Game over.) With two puppies, I want to avoid any kind of food aggression, so I decided to reward the team: Any time either puppy gives me the ball, they both get little treats.
Dempsey seems to have figured this out. The first few times we played fetch with Sawyer, they would both scamper after the ball. But after a few reps, hardworking Sawyer kept chasing the ball, while freeloading Dempsey just stuck around for the treat.
I'm torn between thinking Dempsey is smart and being appalled at what a bad team player he is. Time for a new game. I don't want Dempsey to be shunned at the doggie water cooler!