How to Set Boundaries in Dog Training

Dogs are pack animals, which is why they live so well with us in our family units, which to them equates to the ‘pack’. The most successful packs in the wild are those where there are clear rules, boundaries and constraints; every dog knows its job and what it can and can’t do. Their survival depends upon clear rules and consistency. This in itself offers the dog a sense of security.


To give a dog the best possible start within our ‘pack’, we too need to clearly outline and instigate rules and boundaries. Without these, our dog begins to display unwanted behaviours such as play-biting, jumping up uninvited, stealing and behaving like a real ‘wild child’! Often we try to fix the actual problem but the underlying causes remain the same and the behaviour never really disappears.


Here is a list of suggested rules, which should remain in place until the dog is at least 2 years old:

Steps

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    Restrict the dog’s area when he or she is left alone.
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    Do not allow the dog on furniture.
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    Ensure the dog moves out of our way when required. Don't step over the dog or around it.
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    Don't let anyone play rough or ‘fighting’ games with the dog.
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    Do not allow the dog to play fight/play bite with other dogs living in the household.
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    Don't allow ‘tug of war’ games with the dog.
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    Don't allow jumping up uninvited.
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    Don't feed the dog from the table or plates.
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    Make the dog work for all food and tidbits. For example, ask the dog to Sit for his dinner or treat.
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    Avoid constantly responding to the dog’s demands for attention. They do not require constant entertainment.
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    When returning to the dog, ignore him or her for at least 5 minutes before greeting. This displays leadership skills and reduces over-excitement at your return.

Tips

  • Without rules and boundaries, your success in training your dog will be limited and you will not experience the true joy of a well-adjusted, well-mannered dog, which you can be justifiably proud.

Article Info

Categories: Dog Obedience | Working with Dogs