Like a lot of things…there are many different philosophies when it comes to training dogs. One method that I’ve noticed is really popular among dog owners is often referred to as the NILF (Nothing In Life Is Free) method. Interestingly, I don’t think that the majority of dog owners actually use this method (rather than the Premack method). The NILF method involves having the dog understand that you control everything and therefore if the dog wants something then need to do something for you first. In theory, it doesn’t seem so horrible. After all, it’s not bad to expect a dog to sit quietly when you’re putting their leash on or putting out their food. The problem is if you basically expect your dog’s every wish and movement to be dictated by you (this may seem crazy but this is essentially what pure NILF expects). I’m more of a middle road (or Premack) believer…I think some good “manners” should be expected for somethings but other times it’s better to let a dog be free do what it feels like (eg. sniff around the backyard). Here are some interesting articles on the NILF debate.