At some point the behavior was allowed. At some point the behavior was encouraged. Whatever the behavior is that we want to change in our dog, the first step is realizing that at some point our dog heard us say “Yes!”
True, we might not have actually said it, but in our inaction that’s what we communicated.
Because we let the puppy wander into another room and go potty, and it was another five minutes before we figured out what happened: the puppy heard “yes.”
Because we let the young dog jump up on us for a moment (I know, I know, it was only for a SECOND!) and we gave them affection for it: our dog heard “yes.”
I can’t tell you how many dogs I’ve met that can hold the worlds longest sit stay in their house right before dinner. Any other time, it’s a hopeless cause. Why is that? Because we rehearsed it, we practiced it and the dog has a very clear idea of what the “yes” looks like.
Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes a behavior has been going on for a long time and we will have to tell our dog “no.” But after that, once we move closer to the behavior that we want, let us always remember to tell our dog “yes.”