great stuff Karen, thanks. Trust and respect are much in the same boat and it is imperative to protect our dogs trust. I don't like the words command or obedience when it comes to dog training. Obedience means "submissive to one's will", and command has negative implications as well. These words do not give the animal a choice like this great article talks about. Choice is indeed critical and it builds trust. I think the terms trust and choice are reciprocal. I like this quote from Dr. Roger Abrantes ... "Going hand in hand — or perhaps I should say whip in hand — with the term command is the term obey. Those who do not follow commands are, by implication, disobedient, and therefore deserving of punishment. Commanding is very different from signaling your dog to produce a behavior you desire. In the latter case, if the communication is unsuccessful, it’s not your dog’s fault but yours."
If there's no CHOICE for your dog it becomes a command.
Unfortunately, we can't get away from the word "obedience" in the performance world, because it is built into the name of the sport. But I agree, I certainly don't like to emphasize it, not do I use the word "command". I like "cue" instead. Again, because in formal, competitive obedience, "signal" means something very specific... a non-verbal cue.
The trainers I work with are both very much of this mindset. They are quick to correct anyone who says their dog "won't" do something. If a dog isn't performing as expected, even on a well established task, It's not that they "won't" but that they CAN'T, under those specific circumstances at that specific time. It's our job to figure out WHY they can't and help them through it.
As our APDT judges always remind us, the DOG didn't make the entry. It's our RESPONSIBILITY FIRST
to make sure the dog has fun. (most of the AKC judges are too serious to say something like that