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My dog should behave because he wants to please me.

My dirty boy Macho after a morning of conquering mud puddles and chasing squirrels.

So you think it’s only normal for your dog to want to do whatever you ask of him.

Really? That’s a very narcissistic way of looking at it. Like yourself much?

Great, cause I’m almost certain your dog isn’t as enthralled with you as you may think.

Destructive as it may be to your self absorbed ego, dogs do what comes naturally to them. And yes, they have a mind of their own. Unlike a humans contrived and complex thought process, dogs simply do what works for them.

Our relationship with dogs should not, and must not, be one sided. Unfortunately that seems to be the prevailing attitude with many owners and families where the dog is an afterthought or he’s simply a fixture like the chairs or lamps, which is why this myth remains as popular as it is.

Along with that comes the notion that dogs should willingly do anything we ask of them. This ignores other considerations that factor into any given behavior such as, has the dog been trained to perform the behavior you’re asking for and is it a realistic expectation on your part to believe the dog is truly capable to perform such task? What about the dogs motivation? Is he not entitled to choose his activities until properly motivated?

Think of your relationship with your dog as mutually beneficial. Yes, we provide all the fun resources such as food, water, toys, and dog walks. However, in return they give us their attention and loyalty. See, it’s a circle of give and take.

Taking my dogs out on our usual dog walking trips isn’t always enjoyable for me. Sure, once I’m on the walk I tend to have fun but I often have so much to do that I struggle to make up the time. However, I recognize the importance of our walks. I know that if I don’t fullfill my dogs basic needs he’s likely not going to want to cooperate when I ask something of him. Many behavior problems in dogs come about because the relationship between dog and owner is unbalanced and one sided.

Want to make yourself the center of your dog’s universe? Try this; make yourself the source of all fun things. Increase your play times, train your dog often, and go out on frequent fun dog walking outings. You’ll soon notice he seeks you out more and lingers around longer. It’s reciprocal. He’s giving back because you’re giving him something in return…in this case, plenty of attention.

Get stingy with the resources, fun activities, and your attention and you’ll likely notice your dog’s focus and desire to please wane.

Kind of takes that whole theory about your dog doing things solely out of a need to please you and blows it out of the water.

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