How to Make Your Dog Believe Obedience is Their Own Idea

As I delve into the world of dog training, I have discovered a fascinating approach that truly captures my attention – teaching my canine companion to believe that obedience is their own brilliant idea. Let me share with you the essential tips and tricks on how I successfully achieved this delightful training milestone with my furry friend.

How to Make Your Dog Believe Obedience is Their Own Idea


Ah, training dogs. A delightful dance between man and beast, where treats and tail wags meet mental stimulation and mutual understanding. Today, I want to share with you my experiences in training a 3-year-old German Shepherd to saunter off to his bed, tail wagging and mind whirring with the notion that obedience is indeed his own idea. Free shaping is my secret weapon, guiding him towards the bed without him even realizing it.

Free shaping: The Key to Canine Independence

In my journey of training this spirited German Shepherd, I’ve found that free shaping is the magic that turns a mundane task into a thrilling adventure for your pup. By letting him figure things out on his own, I’m not just teaching him obedience – I’m fostering independence and critical thinking.

  • Instead of direct commands, I hinted towards the bed and let him connect the dots.
  • The thrill in his eyes when he realized where I was leading him was priceless.

Let Them Figure It Out

Guide your fluffy companion towards the bed a few times, then take a step back and watch the magic unfold. Dogs are intelligent creatures, and sometimes, all they need is a gentle nudge in the right direction to surprise you with their wit.

  • Don’t rush in to correct or interfere when they are busy pondering their next move.
  • A pat on the back (or a treat in their case) even if they fall short encourages them to keep trying.

The Brain Game: Free Shaping vs. Traditional Training

Free shaping is not just about teaching a dog tricks; it’s a mental workout that engages their brain in ways traditional training methods can only dream of. The beauty lies in watching them piece together the puzzle on their terms, building confidence and independence along the way.

Crate: Not Just for Containment

Think outside the crate! Free shaping exercises can be seamlessly incorporated with a crate, offering mental stimulation that transcends the boundaries of obedience training. Let your pup’s imagination run wild as they discover new ways to earn those tasty treats.


In a world where obedience is often associated with stern commands and strict discipline, free shaping offers a breath of fresh air. It’s not just about training; it’s about building a bond with your furry friend based on trust and understanding. So, go ahead, give it a try, and watch as your dog’s eyes light up with the joy of learning on their terms.

5 Unique FAQs

  1. How long does it take for a dog to understand free shaping?

    • Dogs are quick learners, but the timeline varies based on individual personalities. Some may catch on in a few sessions, while others might need more time to grasp the concept.
  2. Can free shaping be used to teach other commands besides going to the bed?

    • Absolutely! Free shaping is versatile and can be applied to a range of commands and tricks. From fetching to sitting pretty, let your dog’s creativity shine through.
  3. What if my dog gets frustrated during free shaping exercises?

    • Patience is key. If you notice signs of frustration, take a step back, and simplify the task. Remember, training should be a positive experience for both you and your furry companion.
  4. Is free shaping suitable for all dog breeds?

    • Free shaping can benefit dogs of all breeds and ages. However, some breeds may excel more in tasks requiring mental agility, while others might need a bit more encouragement.
  5. Can free shaping be incorporated into daily routines for mental stimulation?

    • Absolutely! Free shaping is a fantastic way to keep your dog’s mind engaged and active. Try incorporating short training sessions into your daily routine to keep their brain buzzing with excitement.