Treat your dogs like Kids and NOT Babies
Be Your Dog's Parent NOT Friend
Today lets talk about accountability. When it comes to training your dog it is important to understand the type of relationship that you have to have with your dog. The most important aspect of this relationship is accountability. It's easy to get into the notion of always loving your dog and constantly being on this spiral of emotions and affection. Although it is important to understand that this is harming our dogs more than doing them good.
What do I mean by accountability? Well when you want to have a well behaved, obedient dog then it's important to give them structure, accountability, consequences, rules, and discipline. Much like you would give to a teenager or a kid.
Lets take a look at babies and kids. Babies don't get rules, boundaries, accountability, responsibility, discipline, and consequences, because well they are just babies! They are little drunk people. That would not be fair to their arch of development and it would be inappropriate. Can you imagine scolding a baby for napping too ling or for crying?? That's insane! Babies are the exception. Now lets dissect what kids should get when being developed. When raising a kid you want them to be quality members of society. When raising a kid however, you are getting them ready for the real world so that they may be valued members of society. Members of society that know how to navigate this thing called life. In order to raise a kid that can be well prepared for the real world, then you start to hold them accountable. You start to teach them rules, boundaries, responsibility, structure, discipline, and consequences. This is massively important to the arch of development of children (kids.)
Dog's Need Rules, Boundaries, and Consequences
Now what does this have to do with your dog? Well, too many people are raising and treating their dogs like babies and not like kids. Too many people are neglecting their dogs of vital information that help them navigate through life and become valued members of society. Without all of these accountability structures then you breed behaviors that can be seen as bad behaviors or unwanted behaviors.
Dogs need a guide. We can't allow them to make decisions on their own, which is what many people do. As your dog's owner you need to be there to make the decisions for them. You need to provide the rules, discipline, structure, accountability, and consequences. If your dog lives their lives without any consequences then why should they listen to you? What do they get for being well behaved and listening to their owner? What's in it for them?
A lot of people will say that they get rewards and affection for following the rules. Thats great and all but what happens when they are performing unwanted behaviors? You won't get them to stop that behavior with rewards and affection. No amount of love that you give to a dog will get them to stop an unwanted behavior. This is why consequences is such a vital aspect to training and developing a well behaved, obedient dog. A dog that understands consequences, truly understands what is intolerable to you, their owner. This is where you start to breed massive amounts of accountability and respect.
Consequences make it so that there is no gray area between your communication with your dog. Once you have established this crystal clear communication and what you expect from your dog then you have a formula for success. after this point the sky is the limit with your dog. Once you truly understand this, it will be infinitely easier to train and communicate with your dog.