The main thing I want to always keep in mind is fairness. How can I get mad at a dog for doing something he’s never been taught not to do?
Prepare and be fair.
Building up a communication, after all, takes two sides: we need to be able to tell someone what we like in our relationship and let them know when, “hey, I didn’t like that so much.”
So if I never taught a dog to come back right away when I call, for one I’m putting them in danger (if they run towards a road, etc) and second of all, digging myself in a ditch. I can’t get mad at them for not coming back because I never told them I wanted that and that made a huge hole in our communication that might be hard to mend.
To me correcting a dog is fair. I’m letting them know what to expect: don’t run into the street, come back when I call you, and listen to me. Once I’ve told them how I feel about certain things, I can correct them if they don’t follow my lead. But only then. Then there’s nothing your dog can complain about.
Not teaching them social manners and then expecting them to know them on their own is unfair. But many people really think that’s how it works! That balance between over-controlling our dogs and never saying no, is what we’re looking for. It’s the same when teaching people, horses, parrots and any other animal.
Let your animals know what’s up so they can know how to act.