Giving your dog more controll releases stress


New Member
Read a very interesting blog post in norwegian, about an owner who had a bad conscience for controlling the dogs' lives too much. (GoodDog Center » Hunden er Sjefen!) You can translate the text for more details.

Think about how much we controll in the dog's life. Where to sleep, when to eat, when it gets to pee and so on. What if, instead, you give him choices in as many situations as possible? Instead of telling them what to do, they may choose where to walk, what they eat, when they want to play or train.

An interesting thought. Especially when the blogger describes this as well:

"The results are amazing! I see confidence grow in my dogs as never before. They are less stressed, and they deal with difficult situations and changes better. Anti-social behavior has decreased and the desired behavior has increased. My theory is that when they feel they have control over their lives, they receive a higher quality of life and a better life. "

Tess then describes in the blog how she has different boxes of stuff that the dog get to choose from. It may be a training vest, toys or dog chews.

This feels like a wise and ethical way to relate to the dog. Consider, how exciting to not know what the day will look like, the dog may determine :)

Tess underlines that it is important to be clear when the dog gets to choose and not, otherwise it becomes confused. The dog might get to choose where you go on the morning round, and you decide in the afternoon? If you do not have time to let your dog choose food in the morning, then do it in the afternoon, or get up earlier.*

Further, it is described that you can let your dog be the boss when:
- You have established your relationship with your dog on mutual respect and positive training methods.
- You are clear about when and where the dog gets to be the boss.
- You've already trained your dog in self-control, cooperation and recall.
- Continue to exercise self-control, cooperation and recall to maintain the security this provides.
- You have an independent dog, as you let select only in situations in which you still have control over
- You have several dogs, let only one dog at a time to be Chef.
- You can trust your dog.*

I will definitely consider this and give the dogs more choices.