Rescue dogs value Together-time with their accepted Pack members a LOT, a lot more than non-rescue dogs.
No surprise: Rescue dogs often have felt lonely or even left alone during some part or the major part of their life!
The accepted Pack members of your rescue dog hopefully are all family members (but not necessarily), regardless whether the dog considers some family members as accepted Pack leader.
There is indeed a difference between accepted Pack member and accepted Pack leader. And there is a HUGE difference between Pack leader and accepted Pack leader!
This is why in the Tim Carter books and in the MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL you learn that we should first work on becoming our dog's accepted Pack leader before we do much else.
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The same is true for your rescue dog: Plan for regular Together-time, and use the Together-time to work on becoming your dog's accepted Pack leader.
This can be pursued during simple activities such as dog walks, during often overlooked opportunities such as feeding, toothbrushing and ear-cleaning, during exercise, during play, etc.
With today's always "too busy" dog owners, if you don't plan for regular Together-time and stick to it from the start, you'll likely miss out: Meaning, you'll forget it, and you lose out on quality of life.
Together-time with a rescue dog offers us enormous quality of life, because rescue dogs show so much gratitude, and people LOVE it when they are being thanked.
This feeling of being valued comes on top of the joy we and the dog feel when say we play during Together-time.
Play is PLAY, and so it's about FUN, not training!
The reason why we can (and should) use Behavior Training nonetheless:
When during PLAY we motivate our dog to behave the way we want - that's Behavior Training! - then step by step we can get our dog to play in a way that we enjoy more, and likely the dog enjoys more too.
Hard to say this in words, however you can even watch it all live in My New Puppy Diary: Raising a puppy into a healthy and well-behaved adult dog.
In summary: The Together-time ideally is FUN for both, us and the dog. If we integrate any training, best is to make the training be experienced as FUN - or at least not to feel like training.
Obedience Training always feels like training, Behavior Training does not.
With Behavior Training, our rescue dog doesn't even notice that (s)he's being trained - and later we don't notice it anymore either.
Note that every key point raised above you can find more comprehensively explained in other places on this website. The menu is your friend. Here, links have been omitted only to keep this decision tree straightforward.
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