It’s good to have some basic Zen-type principles in mind when working on your dog. It can be overwhelming at times training a dog and working on different behaviors and commands. I like this tip “what you allow you encourage” as a general precept. It reminds you that whether or not you are intentionally working with your dog at any given moment, they are there learning from you. So if you allow them for example to jump in your lap without permission while you are watching TV, then that is a behavior they learn is okay, i.e., to run over your space without being invited. It might be cute as a puppy, but it teaches a lack of respect, and dogs are all about body language and personal space. Better to encourage a different behavior, such as having them lie at your feet, so they learn to stay with you but in a submissive and respectful posture.

So ask yourself, if you are feeling that things are a bit chaotic with your dog, what behaviors are you allowing that you would prefer not to encourage? Then you need to draw the line and do something about it, which may take work until it becomes the routine, your status quo, but it will be worth it. For myself, it takes time with multiple dogs, including a Rott puppy, to line them up for a peaceful entry or exit through the door. But if I fail to do this, then I am fostering chaos and creating a world where dogs barge in and out of doors. You can’t be in a hurry all the time living with dogs, and that, I submit, can make your life better too, especially in our busy Silicon Valley world.

Lady Palo Alto dog training