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You will only get the bonus if you excel at your day to day job.

Read it twice and apply that to your relationship with your dog!

We want all the cuddles, all the fun, and all of the great behaviours. That’s the bonus. What we tend to forget is that it takes daily effort, daily relationship building, daily fulfilment for a dog to be truly happy. We expect our dogs to be great at everything, to behave well wherever we go and on top of that we want all the love and emotional support from them.

All of that affection, the cuddle etc. that’s for us, that’s the bonus. That is what makes us feel good. Our dogs want leadership, consistency, direction, and clear communication. That’s the day to day job. If they don’t get that from us, and instead they only get love and affection, they will a) not be fulfilled, and b) they won’t take us seriously because we present ourselves as the weak link in the relationship. That’s when they start taking over the leadership role and they may start controlling us, guarding us, become reactive, display separation anxiety, and so on.

We can’t expect good behaviour if we don’t provide fulfilment. And we can’t only look at the parts that are fun for us ( the bonus ) if we don’t work hard on the daily thig that make the relationship work.

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