I love to experiment with dog behavior and will often mix things up just to see how my dogs react; it is very interesting. Yesterday I was outside with Tilley and a new box of cookies. It is unknown to me how Jessie had not already known that I had a cookie box in my hands; she has bionic ears. But for some reason she didn't hear it and lay in the livingroom soaking up the sun. Our house is pretty much windows across the entire back looking out into the yard. So with Jessie in the livingroom I gave Tilley a cookie to see how long it would take her to come out for her own.
Within an instant she was up and looking out the patio doors. I have made a rule that the dogs do not go in and out of this door and they know it. They never stand at that door wanting in or out. So there she stood, with her ears up watching Tilley eat a cookie and watching me watching her with a cookie box in my hand. I pulled a cookie out and said "cookie." She got very excited but was still in the livingroom.
All the dogs know that the way outside is through the kitchen and although they can see the whole backyard from the livingroom they cannot gain access to outside that way. It can be confusing if anything interferes with their thought process. In this instance the cookie was blocking the thought process in Jessie's brain. I tossed the cookie; which now lay on the ground not 4 feet away from her. She stood staring at it on the ground; it was there but she couldn't get it. I waited a long time; maybe a full minute watching her watching the cookie.
Food is everything to Jessie and she will do anything for it. She also regularly chokes on food because she scarfs it back so fast. She was obviously not thinking; so to help her use her head I took two steps towards the kitchen door. That was all she needed; a little break in the trance the cookie held on her now allowed her to use her brain. Out she ran and ate the cookie like it was the first food she'd had in weeks.
They are all very, very differnt. My other two dogs do not have a food obsession like the little eating machine; Jessie. Although food can get in the way of thinking; it does not control them to the degree it controls my Jack Russell.