We’re led to believe — by some trainers, by popular media, often by our own common sense — that training is about sitting on command and jumping through hoops (literally and metaphorically) for a reward. And what follows is the assumption that the sitting or the jumping are the point. But they’re not. What’s important is how your dog feels when you ask him to do something. The point is how your dog responds in the training moment — and his response comes directly from his emotions.
As trainers, we have the choice to include our dog’s feelings in the training equation. We shape behavior, yes, but we shape it through developing positive attitudes and emotions that make our dogs not just happier, but more reliable.
Think about this. You can teach your dog to sit OR you can teach your dog to sit, look up at you, push her chest forward with confidence and anticipation, and give you a huge smile. So, which sit do you want to teach your dog? It’s really up to you.