Each and every one of us brings a different energy and a different level of leadership to the table every time a new handler takes the leash and the remote. The dog can be completely calm and obedient with one handler while reactive and pushy with another and this has to do with the work that each handler has put in to make themselves believable strong leaders in the dogs eyes. The dog depends on their human 100% for leadership and guidance in all moments, even those small and seemingly benign moments like whether or not you allow him to pull you through a doorway or over to the ditch to pee.
These are moments that the human can either control and invest in their leadership bank account or they can allow the dog to control which makes a withdrawal from the leadership bank account. At the end of the day, all these small moments are added up and they give the dog an overall impression of who we are as leaders and whether or not we are capable and trustworthy of leading them through the big scary moments. If you are a consistent and dependable leader in ALL the small moments, then you will also be in the big moments. BUT if you missed or neglected your opportunities to lead in the small and seemingly benign moments, then the dog won’t ‘buy in’ and follow you during the big scary moments either because the human-dog dynamic affects the dog’s behaviour at all times.