A balanced dog is one that is fulfilled in all three aspects of its being: body, mind, and heart. In nature, dogs instinctively find that balance. When dogs live in the human world, however, it’s up to us to ensure that they get that balance.
Humans and dogs both have instinctual, intellectual and emotional dimensions. We humans live in a world where intellect and emotions are primary, while our instinctual side is less important. For dogs, it’s the other way around. They live in an instinctual world where their intellect and emotions are secondary.
When we relate to our dogs in a human way, emphasizing the intellect and emotions over the instinctual, they can lose touch with their own instincts and nature. Meanwhile, we don’t recognize our dog’s instinctual behavior and what it’s telling us. Our dogs thus develop behavior issues.
Order of Importance
That’s why exercise, discipline and affection must be given to our dogs, in that order. We first exercise the instinctual, then we discipline the intellect and express affection to the emotions. In this way, we fulfill the dog’s needs and promote balanced behavior. That’s why Cesar calls this the Fulfillment Formula:
Exercise is for the Body = Fulfilling Instinct = Creating Trust
Discipline is for the Mind = Fulfilling Intellect = Creating Respect
Affection is for the Heart = Fulfilling Emotion = Creating Love
It is only when we, as humans, stop acting intellectually and emotionally with our dogs and start living more instinctually that we learn one of the most important things we need to have a balanced dog: Our goal is not to make our dogs trust, respect, and love us ‘ it is to make ourselves trustworthy, respectable, and loveable.