If your dog had to choose between a free for all and a more structured approach, they’d choose structure. Read why!
Free for all sounds fun, right? No rules, boundaries and affection all day long,
You may think that’s all your dog needs.
But the thing is that dogs thrive on structure. They like to know what is okay and what is not okay in your home.
They want to know that you’ve got their back and they don’t have to be the leader of the house. They need you to be that for them.
Fun is great, we all want to have fun. At the same time, we need a set of rules to keep everyone safe. We have laws to abide by to prevent chaos. There are rules in sports (and referees) to make sure everyone is on the same page. This is not to make things less fun, its primarily to make things less stressful.
There’s more that dogs need than affection. If you don’t provide rules for your dog, they will become confused because they don’t know what is considered good and what is considered bad. They will start pushing limits. They will probably make what might seem like bad decisions. Those are actually not bad decisions because it was never communicated to your dog what you want from them in the first place.
All of this especially important when you bring home a new dog. The less they know what is going on in your home the harder it is for them to find their place in your pack. The more you rely on affection only or a poor rescue dog, all they need is love we can fix the rest later approach, the more confusing it is for them because they need a guide from day 1.
How do you keep your dog?