This video is taken from our online course, Leash Reactivity with Tyler Muto.
This is another major concept that plays a big role in our overall rehabilitation. Traditional dog training has always taught us that obedience commands should be absolute, and that even if a dog is nervous we should always make them work through it and stay the course. In my experience this is not only less effective, but can also be damaging to your relationship with your dog. Successful rehabilitation, to a great extent, is about giving your dog options, and teaching them which options are better than others. Through practice and repetition the dog eventually learns to make these choices on their own, independently of your presence.
When we take the approach of absolute obedience, our dogs often become ticking time bombs. They may appear under control, but it is only a matter of time before someone or something pushes them beyond their limit, and they snap. One of the biggest benefits of teaching obedience with exception is that it gives your dog the power to self sooth. By reinforcing any decision to move away from conflict, we will be developing a dog that is much safer to be around, even if they are still a bit nervous about whatever their trigger is.