I have been dog training for a few years now. Each time a new class starts, I know there are certain questions that will inevitably be asked but one continues to surprise me: “Is that okay?” Dog owners ask this whenever they do something that they think might be unacceptable, like letting their dog jump on the couch or sleep on the bed. Sometimes this question is asked because they are having a difficult time getting their dog to do a behavior we are trying to teach.
But of course the real answer is more complicated than that. There is certainly nothing wrong with letting your dog on the couch, as long as you want your dog on the couch and as long as you can get him off! You also don’t have to drive yourself crazy if there is a behavior that your dog doesn’t like to do. My dog really doesn’t like to do “Touch”, and I am just fine with that. I don’t mean to suggest that you give your dog a free pass but if your dog is otherwise well-behaved (to the extent that YOU want), that’s what is important.
Most people want a nice pet dog that they can live with and if that is your goal, it is our job as trainers to help you get there. If, on the other hand, you want a therapy dog or a dog who performs agility, we can help with that too. But what is really important is that you have the dog that works for you.