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Dog boundary training may sound difficult, however, it’s just a matter of first understanding why your dog is not respectful of the boundaries in your home or yard, establishing your leadership, while using some simple, common sense, boundary training tips. Then it’s just a matter of putting a plan in place to establish off-limits areas of your household.
Dog Boundary Training – Start by Looking at the Bigger Picture:
What reasons could your dog have for not being respectful of the boundaries you have designated in your home?
- A dog that consistently wants access to your couch, bed, climbs up on you, jumps on you, or doesn’t listen to you may want to do so because it is acting out a dominant behavior. (You will want to pursue becoming your dog’s leader before you start working on establishing off-limits areas of your household. Once that happens, generally dog boundary training is a lot easier because your dog will listen to you. Otherwise, your dog will not respond when you say no, or whine, cry, or continue to jump on your furniture, run outside of your yard, and test your patience.)
- Your dog has a lot of energy and is literally bouncing off the walls. Your dog needs to be exercised regularly. Sometimes just exercising your dog will eliminate the problem.
- Your dog knows commands and has not been taught off-limits areas of your household. When a dog is allowed full access to your furniture (and your bed) you may be unknowingly giving your dog a behavior signal. That signal may be teaching your dog that there are little or no boundaries when it comes to your home and your belongings. (You will want to pursue setting up some boundaries.)
- Your dog doesn’t know the boundaries of his yard and considers any area beyond the confines of your yard a place to explore.
- Your dog is not spayed or neutered and has decided the company of another dog is preferable to staying in your home or yard. (A strong desire to mate with another dog).
Dog Boundary Training – Things to Think About to Make Your Boundary Training Successful:
- What furniture do you want your dog to have access to? For example, perhaps you want your dog to have access to your couch and not your bed? Before any training can begin, define the boundaries in your mind.
- A wet, muddy, or smelly dog can literally damage your couch, chair, or fabrics in your home. And if you don’t groom your dog often (including trimming their nails) you can have a real disaster on your hands. If you are a very low maintenance kind of dog owner, it may be better not to let your dog on your furniture at all.
- Does your dog like to chew? Consider that your dog may be inclined (more so) to chew up your furniture because the behavior to stay away from furniture has not been enforced. A dog that chews is very, very, likely to chew on furniture as well, so it is wise to set some boundaries and keep your dog away from furniture just to be on the safe side.
- If your dog lives to chew on shoes, consider limiting access to your bedroom.
- If your dog loves to raid the garbage can, consider the kitchen off limits, don’t tempt your dog with the smell of food.
- If you plan to keep your dog outdoors, outdoor furniture can become a chew toy in the absence of other items to chew on so consider areas of your yard you may not want your dog to have access to.
- If you want your dog to stay in the boundaries of your yard, consider ways to keep your dog from straying outside of your property line.
At this point, set a consistent plan of action in place.
Dog Boundary Training – Different Ways to Enforce Boundaries:
- Walk or jog your dog until he is tired, very tired. Dogs that are relaxed tend to act out less and are more receptive to training and staying off furniture.
- Pull your dog off of the furniture (gently) by the collar while saying NO! If he jumps on the furniture repeat this behavior. Your dog will get the message, just by the repetition.
- If you catch your dog looking like he is going to jump onto your furniture – again say No! until your dog begins to associate the furniture with an unwanted behavior, begins to avoid the furniture, or sits or lays in front of or beside your furniture.
- Be proactive. After a while, you should recognize the signals your dog is giving you. Don’t wait until it’s too late to enforce the boundaries you are setting.
- Use a baby gate to set boundaries. A baby gate works well to restrict access to most rooms.
- Put your dog into a dog exercise pen, or crate. Put chew toys in the playpen or crate. Confine your dog to a predefined area. Over time, even if you remove the playpen or crate, your dog will generally stay in that area.
- Buy lots of toys, chewable treats and put them in an area you want your dog to be in. That also causes your dog to want to stay in that area.
- Move outdoor furniture into a patio area, or restrict your dog’s access to them.
- Shut the door of your bedroom, close up closets, or hamper areas.
- Get fencing around your outdoor garden or plants.
- Get Bitter Apple to spray on areas that are being chewed indoors.
- If your dog is especially stubborn, you may want to use a training mat or training collar.
- Get your dog spayed or neutered and they will be less likely to roam, listen to your commands, and try to dig under your fence.
- Walk your dog around the perimeter of your yard while on a very long leash. Do this consistently. Then, give your leashed dog some room to roam while still on leash. If your dog does not respect the boundaries of your yard, tug on the leash and say No! Some dogs will learn to respect the boundaries this way, others that are more stubborn, may actually require a fence. Or, get a InGround Fencing System for your dog to keep them inside your yard.
- Remember training and retraining. Be consistent.
Recommended for Dog Boundary Training in Your Home: ScatMat
If you are looking for a way to teach dog boundary training this mat works very well to do just that. This mat will teach your dog to stay away or off of areas of your home that you don’t want them accessing. The ScatMat can sit on your chairs, couch, counter or other areas of your home you don’t want your dog on. Supplied by a 9 volt battery (not included) that lasts on average for 6 months or 10,000 activations, this mat activates a harmless low pulse which acts as a deterrent and works very well to train your dog fast to stay away from areas of the home you want your dog off of.
There are 3 levels of correction (one for stubborn dogs) and you can expect the mat to last a long time because when your dog starts associating the pulse with the mat, you will not need to keep it turned on. All the dog will need to do is see the mat in order to keep away from it.
This especially works well when you have a dog or cat that pees on your couch or bed.
Be proactive when training your dog to respect boundaries and above all, don’t give up. While dog boundary training may take some time and repetition on your part, the rewards will be keeping your furniture, valuables, and your dog safe. And, you will have peace of mind when you are not at home or watching your dog.
A dog that doesn’t learn to respect certain areas of your home or yard will at some time or another cause a problem or damage, or worse yet become lost, stolen, or hurt. Many dog owners are distressed when they find their sofa chewed up, or damage to the leg of their favorite chair, or their dog has escaped from their yard and realize all too late that dog boundary training or preventative measures could have prevented a problem which now may cost thousands of dollars or the loss of a precious companion.