Do you want to work in an organized office or a messy garage?
Many people feel bad about implementing structure for their dogs. But structure is not a bad thing. It is good for your dogs. Dogs love structure. Structure clarifies the confusion for a dog who may find our world intimidating, and it gives the dog a sense of security and stability as he/she knows what to expect so he/she does not need to guess and worry. Structure is a life style. A structural life style for a dog is like working in a very organized office - you know exactly where everything is, you feel safe, you can finish your work efficiently, and it is a pleasure to work under such an environment. An non-structural life style for a dog is like being asked to fix a car in very dirty, messy, and unorganized garage - you cannot find anything, you may injure yourself, and it is really frustrating because you cannot get any help you need and nothing can be done the way you want. When we live with our dog(s), we are forming a pack with the dogs. It is like having a new worker in a workplace. We can make this "workplace" an organized and clean office, or a greasy, dirty, unorganized garage. The difference is about whether we give our dogs a well defined structure. Implementing structure takes discipline, just like keep an office clean and organized takes time and energy. But it can become a habit. If you are a clean and organized person, you will want to keep your desk, your car, you home, and your office very clean even when no one asks you to do so, because it is a habit, it is part of who you are. If you get into the habit of applying structure day in and day out, you will do it without thinking. It will not be a chore but a way of life. Dog training is not just about training dogs, it is about helping dog owners to build new habits, too. When you are committed to implementing structure in your dog's life, it may be a bit uncomfortable at first but it will become a natural instinct after a while. When you can implement this "way of life" naturally for your dog(s), you will notice much better relationship, better behaviour, and more engagement from your dogs. Structure is not a bad thing. It is a good thing because it is the gateway to a life in harmony with your dog whereas you can enjoy lots of freedom, reliability, and fun.