I recently read a great book called "Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors" by Robin Ganzert PhD, and Allen and Linda Anderson. Here is one of my favorite quotes from a top Hollywood dog trainer:
"I like to compare training with cooking. It's like opening a refrigerator to see what's in it. Whatever is there, you make something out of it. You don't want to change the animal. You give him guidance and build trust. This makes the training organic, free and spontaneous."
-- Mathilde de Cagny, trainer of "Moose" (Frasier) and "Clyde" (Marley and Me)
When many people get a new dog, they have an idea of what they want the dog to be. They envision a certain temperament, certain talents, certain preferences. Often the dog that they imagine they'll be getting and the dog that they end up with are different in either subtle or huge ways. But there is something good inside every dog. Instead of trying to mold your dog to fit what you think he or she "should" be, why not work with your dog and let him show you the unique way he shines?