I am a novice at best. I am doing best to understand motivation. I am doing my best to understand how to get obedience. Where does obedience come from? Bond and true understanding? What turns a pup to an obedient dog.
1. A strong bond with the handler that revolves around trust. When your dog trusts you as its leader, it's very motivated to obey your instructions and go along with your decisions--even if they seem crazy to the dog at the time.
2. Consistency in training and rule enforcement. When you have a consistent schedule that your dog can predict with relative certainty; when you use the same commands for the same actions and reward/correct for success/failure each time; when you enforce the same rule every time the same way...your dog finds it very easy to maintain obedience. The rules, commands, and consequences/rewards are crystal clear and easily understood.
3. Patience and understanding of your dog's stage of development and learning. A good teacher knows how hard to press in a challenge, when to step back, and when to reward the effort made in accomplishing a task.
All of this takes time to develop. If you did all of the above ever since the dog was a small puppy, you'd probably find yourself with a pretty obedient dog by the time it was 2. That all depends on the dog, but I'd say 2 years is when all of that training, enforcement, and bond establishment really gels together and your dog starts working with you more as a partner.
Trust building is all about showing:
*That you're not going to take advantage of your dog all the time. You won't hog resources and you won't bully the dog by constantly overpowering it.
*That you can make sound decisions that lead everyone through situations successfully.
*That you're fair and just, which is one of the few complex social dynamics that people and dogs instinctively comprehend on an almost equal level.
*That you're benevolent and social with all members of the "pack", and understand the value of just goofing off sometimes.