Giving a dog choices
Giving your dog choices!
Growing up, we were never really given choices. Our parents always chose what they felt was best for us. We were made to go to school. We were made to attend a summer camp or church camp. We were made to attend church. Our parents knew this was the best decision for us. Our parents set curfews for us as teenagers, even if we didn't agree with them. Most children would say "No! I don't want to go to school, church or camp!" Most teenagers would get upset because they had to be in by 10pm and wanted to stay out until 11pm. In the end we actually are grateful that we were what we felt like "forced to go" and that we had rules and boundaries. Our parents taught us and guided us on how to be productive members of society at a very young age. They taught us right from wrong and gave us the tools and knowledge we needed in order to succeed. Once we were given this and became adults, it was up to us to uphold to the upbringing we had. We earned the freedom of adulthood from our parents.
When it comes to training your dog, it is the exact same concept. We should never give our dog choices in the beginning. If we do, we are sett
ing them up for failure. They must earn this freedom. When crate training a dog they hate it at first. They whine, bark, and carry on because they want to come out. They are asking for a choice. We should ignore or correct their plea because we know whats best for them. We know that a crate is a good, safe place for them to be. We know that once they get used to it, they will feel safe and secure. It is up to us to teach them all of these things. Or another example is potty training our dogs. We sometimes will ask our dogs "do you want to go outside?" We are giving them a choice. This can also cause them to be hyper by asking them with the tone in our voice and once they get outside, they want to play and not do what they are suppose to do. We should teach them when to go outside to take care of business. We don't let them use the bathroom inside because we know that is wrong (and also messy). We correct them when they do and teach them outside is where things need to be done. Once they have fully learned the rules, boundaries, and guidelines, we then and only then give them the option of choices; A dog will automatically crate himself or let you know that he has to potty by calmly sitting at the door waiting for you.
By setting the foundation early, just like our parents did for us when we were children and young adults, will avoid failure for your dog. Freedom is a privilege that is always earned and never given.