Nothing in Life is Free
Nothing in life is free (NILIF) is the canine equivalent of saying “Please”. Yes, your dog can have manners just as your children do.
Relationship based training philosophy
The benefits of NILIF are many.
- Helps establish the relationship between you and your dog so that you are the leader and s/he is the follower.
- Helps a shy/timid/fearful dog gain confidence. Being able to successfully communicate with you builds confidence.
- Helps an overly confident dog learn manners.
- Helps avoid being jumped on or knocked over by a dog wanting a treat.
NILIF is easy to do. Once your dog knows some basic commands or even tricks, have her do something to say “please” for whatever she wants. For example, if your dog wants her food, have her Sit to ask for it. If she wants to go outside, have her Sit until you open the door. If she wants a treat, have her Shake to get it. If she wants to play fetch, have her Roll Over first.
Even more helpful is the Automatic Sit. Rather than asking your dog to say please in a different way each time for routine events, such as feeding time and going outside, teach her the Automatic Sit. This is also very easy to do. Begin by asking for a Sit before your dog gets the thing she wants, like food or the door to be opened. Soon, your dog will Sit before you even ask because she has learned that she has to do that to get what she wants.
Your friends and family will thank you when they come to visit, and your dog knows to Sit for attention rather than jump on the guest’s nice outfit.