When I was growing up I always wanted a dog or any pet. A guppy would have been fine. I lived in a home where pets were not welcome At night when I was suppose to be sleeping, I was reading anything I could find on animals. One common teaching was to master dominance. Even as a child I did not believe this. To be honest, I did very little that I was told when it came to animals. Don't touch them. Don't eat dog biscuits. Wash your hands after touching them. Definitely don't let them lick your face. I was practically making out with any dog I could get my hands on. I would patiently take my time with them, like a stalker, until they were finally all over me.
Although I didn't realize it, I started training at a very young age. Everyday I would walk to school and pass this fierce German Shepherd. He would lunge at the fence snarling and barking and I would watch all the kids scream and run by this house. Instead, I would stop and stare at him from a safe distance. When he finally stopped barking and silently stared back, I would give him a cookie. Literally a cookie. I would stick my 5 year old hand through the chain fence and trust him to take the cookie. Eventually he would whimper and wag with excitement when he saw me coming. I would reach in and pet him. and yes, I even kissed him. Alot.
My philosophy has never changed. Although some top trainers will tell you the key is dominance, the real answer is a foundation of trust. As with any relationship, you cannot move forward without it. Training your pet with kindness, patience and understanding is a practice that will lead to a home in harmony and balance. If you do not trust your pet home alone or even worse in the home at all, you are not living in peace. Teaching families to trust again is the key to building a foundation for a long loving relationship. An added bonus is it is the best job in the world.