A successful relationship with a dog should be much like a good dance between dance partners. A good dance is a partnership between two beings. You come together and give everything to make the dance good for each other.
The leader is in charge of the choreography, and makes the follower feel protected. The follower knows he/she can trust the leader. Communication is key!
We, as leaders, are completely responsible for creating a successful relationship...the dance with our dog. What will make us great leaders are:
A clear vision (where we are and where we what we want to achieve).
Clear and consistent communication to our dog.
Aware of our environment (including distractions), at all times.
The ability to adapt and improvise at all times.
To take into account feedback from our dog.
Understanding of investment in time and practice necessary for success.
As a good leader, your dog can then be an awesome partner/follower. They will trust you, be non-critical, and have fun. The amount of eye contact that your dog makes with you is an indication of how she/he feels about you.
In any dance, there can be good days and bad days, but you still continue to work on the relationship to make it better. I hope you dance...