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Obedience or independence, which is better for your dog?

What comes to your mind when you think about an 'obedient dog'? Is it perfect recall? Knowing and executing all the commands with zero hesitation? Walking by your leg on walks? Waiting on cue to reach for the food bowl? Being a 'good' dog?

Obedience which is required from dogs unfortunately too often equals unhealthy subordination, no decision making, handicapped independence, self-determination and resourcefulness. Making the dog completely dependent on the human decisions, very often ending in placing the dog in a troubling circumstances. Obedience, used in difficult situations (e.g. if the dog has difficulties with other dogs) does not change dog's emotions - for instance, if the dog is scared of something, by telling them to sit and not react (in an 'undesirable' in human point way) won't stop the fear. I also have a bit of an issue with the sole meaning of the word 'obedience'. It makes me think of a master-subordinate relation, in which there's no room for partnership and individuality. I would not be happy in such relationship with my close ones, neither do I want to base my dog relationships on that. I definitely prefer UNDERSTANDING & CLEAR COMMUNICATION :) Thinking about independent dog, I see a dog that is self-confident, makes great decisions, is stable, trusts their human and has the human's trust and support. These are the areas which I appreciate, which I try to nourish and work on. Healthy independence - it's something I wish to all the dogs :) What are your thoughts on this?


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