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Many dog owners wonder, “does my dog love me?”. We’d all like to think our dogs love us, but how can we tell? It could all come down to the relationship you have with your dog and how that impacts the way you train your dog and communicate. There are three different sorts of relationships, and our interactions might have elements of each. It’s not dissimilar to the relationship a child has with a parent or relationships in the workplace. We can demand, dominate, and control, or bribe, cajole and cater, or give choices and reinforcement that grow trust and autonomy.

In the episode you'll hear:

  • What happens with blame when rules are broken and why to check our ego.
  • Why control creates resistance, opposition, rebellion and can result in sneaky behavior.
  • About what really happens if you just want your dog to be a dog.
  • What a transactional relationship based on bribing and luring does to our dogs.
  • The ways your relationship with your dog can be exhausting for you.
  • How each type of relationship can impact something like training a retrieve.
  • Why we aim for autonomy in relationships with our dogs and what it means.
  • About choice based training and how that creates a dopamine release.
  • How our dog training decisions can create trust.
  • Why I ask my dogs questions and what the answers tell me.
  • How our relationships can help us all flourish, including our dogs.

Resources:

Study References:

Episode Transcript