NILIF, which stands for Nothing In Life Is Free, is a training program and technique that is the foundation to having a good relationship with your dog. If done right, your dog will not only respect you, he will listen to you and every aspect of his training will improve.
So what is NILIF? The idea is very simple, actually sticking to the program is the hard part. The idea is that your dog has to work for EVERYTHING he wants. Whether it’s a simple sit, or something more complex and engaging, your dog has to do something in order to make an everyday outcome happen. For example, your dog has to do something in order to get pet, go for a walk, get food, play fetch, go outside, or have/do anything that your dog needs/enjoys. You can make your dog do a sit stay before he is fed, or have him go lay in his crate before he gets to greet a stranger.
Some dogs may be resistant at first if they are not used to listening to you, but the great thing about NILIF is that soon your dog will look forward to doing as you say because he gets something good in the end.
Depending on your dog and your household, you may need to be on a very strict NILIF, meaning your dog gets absolutely NOTHING unless he does something. In my household, where my dogs listen fairly well to me, we have a much looser NILIF where our dogs only have to sit-stay before eating and wait for us to go out the door before barging through.
Almost all behavioral problems stem from the dog not having a respectful relationship with its owner, with NILIF that respect can begin to grow and you can accomplish so much more with your dog.