Our dogs don’t get very many choices in their lives. We control where they spend their time, what they eat, and what experiences they are exposed to. A lot of this control is, of course, very necessary. Because if your dog is anything like mine, if you weren't around to enforce some boundaries, they would probably have eaten 6 packs of Oreos by now, and/or attempted to move in with the first stranger who smiled at them on the street.
You’ve also probably heard about the importance of using management strategies. Management is the practice of arranging your environment and adapting your own behavior to set your dog up for success. Some examples are using a long line instead of being off-leash, setting up a dog gate in the front hallway, or not leaving Oreos sitting out on the coffee table (can you tell I’m really craving Oreos today?) This form of management is super important if we want to keep our dogs, and those around them, safe and happy.
But the thing is, whether it’s an underlying need for control, not knowing any different, or just getting stuck in our routines and habits, we humans can become a little, well, micromanager-y. I mean, why does it seem like our go-to instinct is to control EVERY little thing?
When you commit to giving your dog more choices, you are boosting their self confidence, developing your relationship, and making their lives a lot more interesting and fulfilling. This is not only important for their physical and mental health, but it can also vastly improve behavioral struggles.
Okay, so here are 3 ways to be less of a micromanager (and give your dog more choices):
What decisions has your dog made today?
Tag or DM me on Instagram (@everydog.training) to let me know!