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Discussion Starter #1
I just read the sticky thread: Nothing In Life Is Free, and while I've heard that saying before, it never sunk in until now.

My dog, Tucker P Macaroon, behaves like he's confused as to who is in charge. Most of the time he's the nicest dog, but there are those few in-between times that he's the dog from h***. I've been wanting some advice as to how to become the leader, and now I've found it. Thank you for posting it! I'm going to make this my new mantra. It's going to take longer to train me than it is him, I think!:rolleyes:
 

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NILIF really is great and I have explained it to (and shown when I am able) friends and family how things work and it does make a huge difference once the "light comes on" so to speak. Making it a way of life with clear leadership, rules, and boundaries every day makes your dog so much more enjoyable to live with, and like you said, there is no more confusion there. Once you get used to doing the day to day NILIF routines it becomes habit and your dog knows what is expected more and more. Good luck! :D
 

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Thanks Katie!

Are your dogs Boxers? I love Boxers. I'm always reminded of the old cartoon by Tex Avery where he describes the Boxer (dog) by putting boxing mitts on him and putting him into the ring.:p
 

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NILIF doesn't attempt to answer the who-is, who-is-not in charge question. It's not even a question. As your dog's guardian, you are in charge in spite of your dog's behavior, always. What NILIF does attempt to clarify is the 9/10ths law...the law of possession - the law of priority access to resources.

What's great about NILIF is that it companions very well with reinforcement theory. If the dog's guardian can identify what behaviors he wants he's 9/10ths of the way to having a well mannered dog.

Once you've communicated to the dog that resources are gained this way, your dog can be/should be a leader too. There's nothing more wonderful than a dog behaving a step ahead of you, in ways that are mutally desirable.

When I grab Elsa's leash and she calmly sits by the door, that's a dog I'm willing to follow. Yes, NILIF is about showing our dogs our leadership...but it also about giving our dogs those same desirable qualities.
 

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Well said Curbside Prophet. I don't necessarily want to be "controlling" Tucker, I just don't want him to think he can do whatever he likes to me or my family -- like jumping and biting my clothing or grabbing a toy out of my pocket or taking the cat's dish off the cat tree to eat the leftovers, etc.

I will say again that the hardest part of this way of thinking is retraining me. I have to learn not to give in to his whining and barking or jumping and grabbing.
 
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