Hi, great to find this group. I had to smile, when I read that other people love their dogs as much as their children. I feel the same. Not many people understand that.
Before we got Gina & Anton, I read all these expert books about dog training, and they all more or less said that you should show your dog who is the boss. I found that most of these book lack respect for our fellow creatures and felt apalled by so much "expert" information.
Now, most of the time I do the opposite of what they write in their fancy books. Our "kids" grow up in a loving family. They are pampered, have nice little coats for wind and rain, get the best food and the best places to be, one being the couch. Training is playful with lots of fun. They get heaps of cuddles and never a harsh word. (well, we are consistent with some house rules, but that's something different, isn't it).
I even roll on the floor with them when we play (an absolute NO! according to the experts), they roll all over me, and we have fun.
Yet they respect us, the same as we respect them, as individuals, as family members and as dogs. They do what we trained together in order to be safe in a human world, and they trust us 100 per cent. I could not give back all the love and happiness these two give me in a lifetime!
I'd love to read your personal experience. Have your dogs ever taken advantage of your love and gentleness, as the experts say? Which "rank" have your dogs in your family?