'Yes' and 'No' are two EQUALLY important sides of every conversation with your dog

When you’re dealing with a dog (or two!) who consistently makes poor choices (reactivity, fighting, destructive behaviour, pushy/bratty... or any behaviour/attitude that you don’t like) it’s super important that we don’t inadvertently set the dogs up to fail by giving them opportunities which makes bad decision making waaaay too inviting... that would be like asking a recovering alcoholic to go sit at the bar, not all that fair😉. For a dog, bad decision making happens when they’re given too much freedom (free roaming in the house, yard, park, etc.), allowed to pull and become disconnected on the walk, existing in an intense/over excited/aroused state of mind, giving a free pass to bad behaviour and crappy attitudes, straying away from the training cornerstones of structure, guidance, advocacy and accountability, or even something as subtle as a hard look. Our dogs are always communicating with us about what they’re thinking and the moves they’re about to make, we just need to learn about reading and understanding their body language so that we can give them the right information/feedback BEFORE they make that dreadful mistake 😉 It’s so much easier to learn and to make good choices when the rules are consistent and clear and the structure is always solid and supportive to fall back on (like a safety net!). We humans are the same way, imagine if there were no established laws about speeding and sometimes you’d get a fine, but only if you got caught. Would you choose to speed or would you choose to invent your own driving rules and then abide by them? Of course you’re going to speed... especially if everyone else is doing it! Lol! And our dogs will speed too if they’re not given firm rules and boundaries... when you really think about it, it’s pretty ridiculous to expect our dogs to follow and respect rules that we haven’t firmly set and held them accountable to following. Dogs naturally do what feels good and what is easy (they are impulsive), so unless we’re down with a naughty puppy then we best set clear and consistent rules and boundaries and hold our dogs firmly accountable for abiding by them. Remember guys, you are allowed to say ‘No’ to behaviours and attitudes you don’t want from a dog... actually, it is our OBLIGATION as responsible dog owners to show our dogs what behaviours we want from them but also to show them what behaviour we don’t want from them. The words for clear communication with any dog are ‘Yes’ AND ‘No’.... those two words go together like peas and carrots. 😉❤️

Kristen Cameron