The Benefit of Boundaries
Everyone has their boundaries. We set them for ourselves and also for others. Dogs have boundaries themselves too, and they often will communicate them to us and other animals. As responsible and loving owners, it is our job to set boundaries for our dogs and have them understand what they are. Many dog owners who look for professional dog training have completed the first task of setting the boundaries, but are struggling with teaching their dogs these rules and guidelines.
When we adopt a dog, we want to offer them love, companionship and a safe haven. But those come with boundaries, and those boundaries is what makes a home safe, and full of love and peace. We expect our dogs to learn certain things, such as not pottying inside the home, or jumping on guests when they are at the front door, or growling when we approach their food bowl. But if we cannot guide them, rather allowing them to figure it out on their own, then this could lead to more serious anxiety and behavioral issues.
Anyone can teach their dog to sit down or shake a paw, but correcting inappropriate behavior while also maintaining positive reinforcement and reward-based training can be difficult for some owners. Many people who call me for training are at a loss on how to communicate with their dog, especially when it comes to boundaries and behaviors that the dogs should NOT be demonstrating.
There’s a difference between punishing and correcting a dog. Punishing involves negativity and there’s not really any teachable moments in punishment. It’s only to tell the dog that they did something wrong. Correction however involves showing that the dog did something wrong, but offering an alternative that is more appropriate for the dog to follow. This is an excellent way to show boundaries, as it allows dogs to see that there are choices in the matter, and different behaviors that bring different consequences (reward vs correction).
People have had dogs that never required a single day of professional dog training, but that doesn’t mean all dogs can survive and live a happy life like that. Dogs want to do what they want to do, but they also want to know what is the right thing. If we don’t properly communicate with our dogs, and do not set the boundaries and teach them, then we as owners are doing a great disservice to our fur babies. Owners might be able to set and teach these on their own, but sometimes, especially with severe behavior problems, professional help might be required.
If you think you and your dog could use some professional training so that your dog can learn the right behaviors, then call 800-649-7297 to talk to us and schedule an initial in-home consultation!