Bringing a dog into your life involves compromise. We are quick to note the compromises we have made - time, vet bills, food, clean homes, clean clothes - some folk have even given up their beds and moved to the spare room!
Sometimes, it is hard to remember that our dogs have compromised too:
Freedom to roam
Free choice about interaction with other dogs
Free choice about not interacting with other dogs, especially if you use a day care or dog walker
Whether to reproduce or not
When to eat
What to eat
Where to sleep and when
When ever possible build some choice into your dog's routine. Choice can be rewarding.
Too much choice can be punishing, so make the choices simple, either/or type choices. Sausage or Chicken for training today?
Being able to make choices will help your dog to feel confident. Being able to make choices is a life skill for all dogs to experience.
In training we allow our dogs to cue us that they are ready to train, or ready for the next cue (cue seeking). The focus game works on this principle. You throw food, your dog eats, redirects their focus towards you, you mark and reward by throwing the food.
This type of training creates a behaviour loop.
Cue seeking is the foundation of all the behaviours you will wish to train and worth investing some time in understanding.