Spend time building a bond of trust and respect w/ your dog before training begins

I’ve been meaning to share this for a few weeks but just haven’t gotten around to posting it. So here goes!
In a email received thru our “Better Dog For You” website at: a visitor wrote and explained that they had just adopted a dog from a local shelter the previous day. When they took him home their 10 year old son tryed to get it to “sit” like the lady at the shelter did. The dog wasnt sitting, so the son put light pressure on the dogs butt and gave the “sit” command again. To the complete shock of everyone watching, the dog snipped at him and ran from the room to hide. Because of this they said that they are now thinking that this dog might be the wrong dog for their family.

After reading this I felt very flustered and even a little upset!

After taking about 10 minutes to calm down and think about it, I replied to the person and did my best to explain that the dog was most likely responding out of fear. I went on to say that they needed to build a relationship of trust before trying to do ANY training. I explained that the dog is in a new home, with people he doesn’t know or trust yet, and he needed some time to adjust.
I told them to just play and interact with the dog on his level for several days. I told them that they needed to play with toys, go for walks and just “hang out” with him. I also explained that after the dog gets used to the new home and the new people, he would relax and be more open to training.
In an effort to relate, I asked the writer to think about this experience like he/she were 5 years old and giving to a new family that he/she didnt know. Then asked he/she to imagine how he/she would feel if someone starting bossing them around and forcing them to do things.
In the reply to my email the person said, “Well the dog needs to know that we are in charge and it needs to do what we tell it to do” … at this point I thought to myself, “I think someone has been watching way to much “NatGeo Wild” on TV.” If you know what I mean!!! 😉
But I replied that if they took the time to build mutual trust and respect, the dog would respond to training much better and it would still know that the humans were the leaders. After all,  the humans were holding the leash, giving the commands, giving the rewards, and supplying the food and water.
I supplied them with a few websites and a few book selections, but I haven’t heard back from them again. I hope they took my advice!
I’d love to hear what you guys think …. so jump right in!