How many times have you tied your shoelaces? A quick internet search shows that the average american spends roughly a week tying their shoes in a lifetime. That's a lot of practice! And it's the type of practice that allows most people to be able to tie their shoes while carrying on a conversation with someone, or tie the same knot on an apron behind their back.
The fact that we have honed this skill to the level of mindlessness, is something to take note of. When younger, most of us struggled with tying our own shoes. But once we got it, it became a part of our everyday lives.
We need to give our dogs, and ourselves the same type of practice with learning how to live together cooperatively. Practicing down stays, place commands, walking calmly on a leash, and being respectful around doorways are all things that when made part of how we live with our dogs allows both ourselves and our dogs to achieve a level of proficiency that is not just practical, but enjoyable.
When we eat dinner, or invite guests into our homes, having a companion who isn't obnoxious, rude, or aggressive lets us enjoy each others company a hell of a lot more.
The key to a healthy lifestyle with your pet is practice. You would never consider flying in a plane with a pilot who has never flown before. So why not make your dog practice before its time for the big test?