To ask or to expect–that is the question of the week. In dog training you ask your dog to perform a behavior and reward them with treats, affection, or vocal praise when they complete it. In dog psychology you expect your dog to perform certain behaviors whether you ask for them or not. Your demeanor and attitude is such that your dog knows what is expected of it.

When you ask your dog to obey, you unconsciously exude a weak demeanor because you are asking. Pack leaders in the wild don’t ask, they tell. So this week, try be conscious about telling your dog what to do instead of asking. He will respect you more for it. Have high expectations. If your dog doesn’t know how to do what you’re telling him to do, then gently but firmly make it clear to him and reinforce that behavior by always expecting that it be done.  For example, I expect my dogs to wait for me to go through any door first before they do. I don’t have to say “Princeton, wait, wait, wait”, I just expect that they will. By having that demeanor and attitude, they usually do. Using this ideaology the best way to reward is to be calm and assertive–be happy. Refrain from using rewards that will excite your dog. Remember that a calm dog is a well-behaved dog. Be confident. Be calm. Lead your dog.

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