In our society, there is a tendency to have a political response to most things. Many people are of the opinion that criminals transgress due to an unhappy home life or a poor upbringing. Comfort and discomfort are a major part of the influence that affects a person’s life, whether you are of the opinion that some people are “just bad” or otherwise. By the same token, dogs are liable to react to their circumstances, and it is well-known that a more content dog will behave in a more respectful manner.
When it comes to training a dog, you will get results if you motivate by fear. However, these results may not be satisfactory to you because although the dog will respond to commands, it will do so tentatively, conscious as it is of the fact that getting it wrong will lead to punishment. If a dog is trained in a happy atmosphere with an owner who is prone to reward good behavior, then it will react to the correct stimuli in the correct way. It will behave in a way which makes you feel proud, rather than simply satisfied.
If you have concerns about being too “soft” with your dog, simply remember that a dog will react in kind to the way it is treated. If you let it be lazy, then it will take the opportunity – simply because that is what it knows. If you encourage activity, however, it will reward you with the behavior that you want from it.