Maybe we could view dogs with this analogy; training your dog is like tuning your car stereo for a specific song. There are specific aspects you can tweak in order to get the best experience. Consider what type of music you have. It will have very individual characteristics and will sound best with certain settings. For example: rap music will not sound very good if you have the bass turned all the way down and the treble all the way up. If the volume is too low you may not be able to hear it at all. If all the sound is coming from the right side of your car it’s going to sound all wonky.
Things are similar with training dogs. When it comes to training your individual dog there will be a lot of overall beneficial concepts, but there are fine points you should consider. Not all dogs are the same. Some dogs are sensitive, some are less so, some are confident, some are insecure, some learn quickly, some take more time to learn. Almost all dogs can benefit from training, though. That’s why I teach all the dogs foundation obedience as a starting point. They also all benefit from leadership, structure, and routine.
When you listen to a song in your car you can adjust things like:
When you approach training your specific dog you may want to adjust these aspects:
Time you spend together
Time you spend apart
Social time with other dogs
Some dogs may need more rules, while others barely need any. Some dogs can spend all day with you while others do better with more alone time. Each dog will benefit from more or less of the individual aspects. I just want you to view your dogs in a very nuanced way. Dogs are not plug and play. They are unique individuals.
If you’re struggling with your dog, try adjusting something. Is it working? Can you increase one thing and see how that is working?Are you living a better life together? Is it making things more crazy? If you don’t like where you are change it! Dogs aren’t trees. Your life together can be better.
And don’t get so caught up in all the specifics that you don’t train at all. That would be like driving in silence all the time. It’s supposed to be fun! Listen to some music! Change what needs to be changed; over time you’ll find just the right amount of this or that to enjoy the music and enjoy your dog!