Lines That Cannot Be Crossed
It takes a lot of the fun out of keeping a dog as a pet when its owner treats the whole process in much the same way as they would a military operation. Dogs are faithful and friendly companions, and can be a lot of fun to spend time with. However, if you are insistent on your dog sticking to a strict set of rules that do not allow it to be a real dog, you are not going to get the best out of having one as a pet. An obedient pup is certainly a goal to strive for, but having a dog on constant perfect behavior is going to result in a very unhappy dog that eventually could lead to depression and a withdrawn behavior.
The main thing that all pet dogs have in common is that they take a real lead from their owner when it comes to behavior. That means if you allow them endless freedom to behave as they feel, they will most likely go over the line that you had set for their behavior. If you allow them no freedom their behavior may be perfect, but their tail will not wag too often. You should have some set rules that they must stick to, but other than that you should encourage individuality and character.
Dogs should not be going to the toilet indoors – it is unhygienic and unpleasant. They should not be attacking or growling at people or other animals, unless they are genuinely under threat. And they should not take food which is meant for someone else. Keep them to these rules and add some reasonable ones of your own, and watch your dog blossom.