It's much more than obedience training

Having a harmonious relationship with your dog is about more than just obedience training.  I've seen many amazingly trained dogs who act like crazy dogs at home when they aren't in "training" mode.  The problem with training is that owners often think that there is a training time and a non training time; when in fact training time starts from the moment you add a new dog to your home until everything runs smooth.  This can be anywhere from a year, year and a half or more.  Even then you still need to be there for day to day guidance.  Rules and regulations to live by need to be instilled in your dog.  Not only those obedience commands; sit, stay, come and down.  Our dogs need to learn how to behave everyday; what is and is not acceptable behavior.

Do we dive all over visitors when they come to see us?   Well, that all depends who the visitor is (just kidding).   If our dogs have not been taught that this is not okay, they probably will.  Dogs will counter surf, sniff crotches and basically act like cave dogs if you don't teach them not to.  That means on a moment to moment basis.  You must always be in "training/educating" mode.  Seems like an arduous task? Maybe, but it is more than worth the effort in the long run.  I have seen five year old dogs who know nothing, driving their owners crazy, daily.  Had anyone ever taught the dog anything?  I'm thinking no.

I've met people standing in the park while their dog runs everywhere but back to them when called.  The owner shrugs and says "she never comes."  The dog is off doing everything but what the owner is asking.  By letting things slide the owner is teaching the dog that they can basically do whatever they want.  Just because running off leash is wonderful does not mean that all dogs should be partaking in the activity.  A owner who allows a dog to run free when they have no control over that dog is making many big mistakes.  First, it is dangerous for the dog itself.  Second, other people don't want to deal with a dog off leash.  Third, the owner is teaching the dog that they don't have to listen at all; they can do whatever they like without consequence.

I don't enjoy rude people and I certainly don't enjoy rude dogs.  Rude dogs are rude because their owner allows them to be.  I hate hearing "he doesn't come when called," as we watch a dog running all around the park and skirting the owner.  Much like when an owner complains about a dog counter surfing as they stand and watch it happen, while doing nothing.  The dog may do a mean "leave it" exercise while in training but forget about the real life situation.  The owner has dropped the ball in that department; but then complains that their dog ate their dinner off of the coffee table.

Guidance is a constant thing when you have a dog; especially when you have a new dog that has no sense of life in a human world.   They don't know that $2,000 beautiful piece of driftwood in the living room isn't just a stick like any other.  Dogs don't understand that they shouldn't dig in the house plants when they are allowed to dig in them outside.  Or that they are not allowed to dive and run all over the couch when visitors come over.  That is not unless someone has educated them on all of these life rules. 

Dogs are crazy smart; that is a fact.  If you don't educate them on living in your human world; they will live by their rules; because you have given them nothing else to go by.  This is when things go very wrong.  The human fails to teach the dog but blames the dog for being a dog.  Hmmmmmm......   Dogs need information, they need it on a day to day basis.  Just imagine, they come to us with a clan slate; most only know how to be a dog, the rest is up to us.    You need to teach them, they do not come uploaded with this information.