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.
Most dog training starts with good intentions. We decide what results should be and start working with the dog. But have we clearly defined what we want those results to be? We shouldn’t be using our results to justify the methods we choose. Perhaps instead, putting some extra effort into defining our goals will tell us what methods will be most effective in getting there.