There are lots of sophisticated training methods and systems out there for teaching our dogs. But all of them – ALL OF THEM – depend on a few basic skills. If we don’t take the time to learn to do those basic skills well, our attempts at more advanced training will surely suffer!
Do dogs have the power of “consent”? Science would tell us that dogs don’t have the cognitive abilities for such a sophisticated concept. But dogs do have agency – the ability to accept or reject what is happening to them. We should listen when our dogs try to communicate with us. But we must be careful not to believe things about our dogs that just aren’t true.