Building Boundaries with Your Dog

Building Boundaries With Your Pet

Dogs are more than just pets, they are part of family. And like any family member, it is important that there are rules, boundaries, and limitations established in the home. This means that dogs too need to know what they can do, where they can do it, and for how long they can keep on doing it.

Building boundaries with your pet can solve some problematic canine behaviors such as getting on furniture, begging at the table, or even bolting out when a door is opened. In creating boundaries, you ensure that the invisible barrier is not crossed. This is not always easy, but here are some tips for ensuring that boundary lines are drawn.

Dog Parenting 101: Building Boundaries with Your Pet

Claim your own space

Dogs tend to claim their own space, whether physically, with their body language, or by pure energy alone. Even without barking or showing their teeth, dogs can claim a food bowl or toy by standing over eat, with a protective stance. You can do a similar thing but probably not in the same behavior. In claiming your own space, do so with your body and stance. If you don’t want him through the doorway, stand in front of it; if you don’t want him on the couch, stand over it and block him.

Take the lead

Don’t forget to emphasize that you are the leader, so create a rule that you have to go through a door first. To do this, you need to make him stop and wait for every threshold that you pass through while he’s still on the leash. After you’re through, you can ask him to follow. To emphasize this, you should walk your dog every single day and make him wait at doorways before you start his daily exercise routine.

Teach your dog some patience

In training your dog, you know that once he’s mastered a trick, he starts doing it as soon as you reach for his doggie treats. Retrain your dog to not do the trick until you ask, despite having the treats in your hand. In this same essence, you can ask him to wait; make sure that he doesn’t rush out the moment you reach for his leash.

In retraining, pull back his treat until he stops doing his trick, then offer it when he doesn’t show any sign of anticipation or until you’ve given him the signal to do so. This can teach your dog to look out for certain signals before making a move and will then teach him to respect set boundaries.

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Correct dog behavior properly

The key to building boundaries with your pet is ensuring proper timing in correcting behavior. If he’s not supposed to be on the couch, don’t try to correct him when he’s actually on it because he can’t make the connection. Give him your “no” signal before he jumps on it, as this will help him make the right connection and soon establish it in his mind that he’s done something wrong.

Be consistent in the rules

When you determine where your dog is and isn’t allowed, you need to maintain two things: one is that there is a boundary, and two is that there are certain signals that allow his behavior. For instance, regarding his place on the sofa, it should be made clear that he can be there only at your invitation. Every person in the household should also be able to establish the same boundaries in order to avoid confusion.

Building boundaries with your pet is essential in their training and is also a way to maintain orderliness in your household, despite your very excitable pet being indoors with you.

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