You need to work on your RELATIONSHIP

How often have you heard that???!!

These days, words are changed to create feeling, when the word was never meant to invoke those feelings, we can end up misunderstanding what is happening.

The word relationship describes how 2 or more elements relate or connect.

Let’s keep that in mind…

Now, I have heard so many trainers tell clients that they need to work on their relationship, and it’s probably true, but what exactly do they mean?

This is the part that is usually missing.

When I meet a new dog that I am going to train, I am trying to form a relationship right?


So, I need to first work out what I want that connection to mean, what would be in it for the dog and what advantages will that relationship give me in helping this dog learn and progress.

I’m going to keep this super simple;

Do I want the dog to “like” me, “value” me, “listen” to me?

Many people will get some level of response out of their dog when they show their dog food and they are in their home, but most if not all of that fades outside the home.


Well, there are many reasons, but I think the most common is that their dog doesn’t consider being rewarded with food, a win.

Know this, you can’t win if you can’t lose.

Dog owners will show food and make all efforts to get the dog to sit and then give the food.

There is no chance of loss. None.

Therefore no win.

Think about that.

A young Steve using the leash to motivate, not restrict.

Next is, what do you mainly use the leash for?

This is what I see, you use the leash to stop your dog.

Stop the dog running on road, stop the dog from running away, stop the dog from playing with other dogs, stop stop stop the dog from doing what he or she wants to.

Whilst some dogs forgive this in exchange for getting a walk, the leash in my programs is mainly used to activate the dog to DO something, not stop doing something.

My dogs learn to love engaging with me without the need for the leash.

If you want a relationship with your dog, first work out what you want this to be.

Food dispenser? Fun Police? He or she that shall be ignored?

Or Guy or Gal that has the best ideas?

Ask yourself “Who do I want to be?” 

If you don’t know how to become that person, I would love to help you.

If you need to help your reactive dog calm down, you need a great relationship.

If you want to get the best out of your working or dog sport dog, you need a great relationship.

If you want your best mate to love hanging out with you more than anything else? RELATIONSHIP.


About SteveK9Pro

Steve Courtney is a Nationally Accredited Canine Behaviour Specialist, Obedience Trainer, Law Enforcement Dog Trainer and ANKC Breeder. Steve has been training dogs all his life and in these articles he shares with you his experience...

Check Also

Assistance Dog help and Support

My name is Addy, I am new to K9Pro so I wanted to introduce myself …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *