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Pet Bucket Blog

Tips for setting boundaries with your dog

 by lucy on 30 Aug 2018 |
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Setting clear boundaries for your dog is very important. On this article, you'll find some helpful tips.

We all love our canine companions, but sometimes Fido jumps on the furniture, bolts through the front door or engages in other problem behavior. Setting clear boundaries for your dog teaches him what is and is not acceptable, not only strengthening the bond your share with your pet, but keeping him out of harm’s way.
When setting boundaries for your pet, the first step is to clearly establish your own space. If you watch dogs interacting with their fellow four-legged friends, you’ll notice each animal asserts his physical space through use of his body language. A dog claiming his food bowl may stand over it, for example, and canines will simply push each other out of the way to claim space another animal occupies. Do the same with your pet by blocking access to a doorway with your body or standing over a morsel he should not eat on a walk, for example. This will teach him boundaries in a way he clearly understands.
Asserting your space will also help your pet respect you as his pack leader. Dogs are social by nature and look to their leaders for guidance and safety. While there are many ways to establish yourself as the leader, one good example is making Fido wait: to enter a room, to eat, and even on walks. While this may sound like tough love to some, teaching your dog to walk beside, rather than in front of, you and to wait for you to enter a room ahead of him provides a clear structure he can understand. When he knows you have control over a situation, your dog will trust your commands.
Learning the ropes takes time, of course, and you should be patient with your pet as you establish boundaries. To help the process along, be sure to provide consistent instructions at the right time. Don’t scold your dog minutes after he bolts through the front door, for example, but instead, give him a firm “No!” as soon as he begins running for the entryway. Don’t wait until Fido is gnawing on something he picked up off the street to command him to “Drop it,” but instead, give the order as soon as you notice him going for the offending morsel. Use consistent commands and never bend the rules once you’ve established them, which includes having other members of your household do the same. With some practice, your pet will learn which behaviors earn your approval and which are better left undone.
Setting boundaries is an important part of training your pet. Not only does establishing yourself as your dog’s trusted leader strengthen the bond you share, but having a pet that listens to your commands will help keep Fido out of harm’s way and maintain a peaceful home.


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