Most dog owners want to have their pup by their side whenever possible, but it’s important to set boundaries so that they know when it is and isn’t appropriate to occupy certain areas. Whether your client is cooking, on an important Zoom meeting, or has a sleeping baby in the next room, having a dog who knows their boundaries will prevent unnecessary stress for both your client and their dog.
When it comes to indoor boundary training, the goal is for your client’s pup to believe it’s more rewarding to stay out of a specific area or room than to enter and explore it. Here are some tips to help them create and maintain spatial boundaries with their canine companions.
1. Stock up on training treats! Charlee Bear’s Original Crunch and Grain Free Crunch are perfect because each treat is less than 3 calories, making them great for frequent positive rewards.
2. Have your client walk to the boundary/doorway and stop right before entering. Make sure they keep the leash short so that their dog stops when they do.
3. Your client should immediately reward their dog once they come to a stop. Then, have them turn and walk away from the doorway. Repeat steps 1-2 until their dog anticipates what is expected and stops willingly.
4. Now, have your client walk one step into the “boundary” room. If their dog doesn’t stop outside the doorway as before, make sure your client blocks them. Repeat steps 1-2 for a bit longer until trying step 3 again. If their dog stops on the correct side of the door, your client should immediately walk back and reward them.
5. Instruct your client to walk further and further into the boundary room before returning to their dog with a reward.
Once your client’s dog has mastered these steps, you can begin to add duration and distractions. First, ask their dog to wait a longer period on their side of the boundary before walking back with their reward. Then begin to incorporate distractions – minor ones at first, building to more exciting ones. As the dog progresses, you can introduce more valuable rewards. Charlee Bear’s Grain Free Meaty Bites consist of only two ingredients – a protein and a fruit or vegetable – so their pup stay focused and motivated when rewarded with these mouthwatering freeze dried treats.
Like all other types of training, boundary training requires consistency. Your client needs to make sure they’re managing their dog’s behavior until the training is complete, otherwise they may confuse them and negatively impact their progress. Most importantly, make sure your client’s dog knows when they’re successfully maintaining the boundaries set in place – even years later. Encourage your clients to take 15 minutes out of their day to start establishing a healthier home environment for them and their pup…because that’s truly all it takes!