Does your dog EARN his privileges? Uppity Dogs vs. Balanced Dogs 

What’s an “uppity” dog?  We consider dogs “uppity” when they have an attitude towards their owners that hinders obedience training, manners and a peaceful household. Owners of these dogs are frequently frustrated and believe their dogs are stubborn, won’t listen and/or can’t be trained.
What’s a “balanced” dog?  This describes most everyone’s ideal companion. These dogs tend to have good household manners and they readily follow instructions. Owners understand the value in having their dogs earn privileges so they don’t become uppity. These owners tend to be happier, overall, with their dogs.
Why earning privileges is important:  We like to draw a parallel between dogs and grade school children. Some children are born with a high desire to please. They need a small amount of guidance and structure to follow household rules and do well in school. For a variety of complex reasons, they don’t “push buttons” or misbehave just to get attention. They enjoy being “good.”  They can be given extra privileges and not take advantage of the situation.  Some dogs are like this, and certain breeds of dogs tend to have more of these tendencies than others. It’s easy to teach these dogs basic manners and obedience.
 On the other hand, you may know parents with a child who is naturally defiant, always challenging rules and authority. That child needs more guidance, very specific rules with meaningful rewards for cooperating and consequences for not doing as instructed. Parents of these children have to be on their toes, always anticipating ways in which their children might challenge them.  Some dogs are like this, and certain breeds tend to have more of these qualities than others. Families who own dogs like this need to follow a stringent plan or their dogs may grow up to be problem canine citizens (as opposed to Good Canine Citizens).
We talk about privileges in our Puppy Manners and Beginning Home Obedience classes. Dogs who are taught to earn privileges around the house are more balanced, easier to train and live with. Uppity dogs, who are given whatever they want whenever they want it (such as treats, petting, getting on furniture, sleeping on the owner’s bed, etc.) have a tendency to be more demanding and less obedient.