Do you let your dog rule the roost and go wherever they please in your home? Or do you have certain areas where Fido can't go? We've all got different ways of training our dogs and have different preferences over house rules.
Anyone who owns a dog will know that they can create a mighty mess. Some dog owners find it easier to keep dogs away from certain areas simply because they want to keep them clean. A nice cream sofa probably won't stay that colour for long if you let your pooch jump on it whenever they like.
On the other hand, some people really don't mind where their dog goes, because they want to be near them at all times. And also, because some of us can't help spoiling our pooches a little bit. It is hard to resist a good old cuddle on the sofa or a morning snuggles with your pooch in bed. But what's the best thing to do?
Really there's no right or wrong, it's down to personal preference. However, from a training perspective - it can help to not let your dog rule the roost all of the time. Here are a few tips and ground rules you should maybe consider putting into place.
If your dog is allowed on the sofa, they need to be asked
Many dog trainers have the opinion that if a dog just does whatever they want around the home, they may develop attitude and behavioural problems. It's helpful to teach Fido a few manners when it comes to house rules.
So, with the sofa for example, there's nothing wrong with letting them up for a good old cuddle, but make sure it's on your terms, not theirs. If they jump up on their own without being asked, tell them to get down.
But if they wait to be asked and you call them up, that will help them to be a little more respectful. Plus, it's handy because there are times (like when you've just got back from an uber muddy walk or you have guests) when you don't want your dog jumping all over the sofa.
Don't let them claim a spot
If your pooch sits in the same spot every time and refuses to move, you may encounter problems later down the line. Remind them that it's your sofa or bed and make them move if you need to sit where they are lying.
Don't let Fido control you buy sitting uncomfortably around them! If you continue to let them one day you might find they will growl or snap at you if you try to move them (if this happens consult a behaviourist - don't try to move them if they could be aggressive).
Use baby gates to help cordon off areas
If you don't want your dog to go upstairs or in a certain room, baby gates can be a handy barrier. This will teach them that they can't go in certain parts of the house and they will hopefully soon get used to how things are.
Adapt the rules to suit your home
As we mentioned earlier, it's not a one size fits all. You might be fine with your dog on the sofa but not down with allowing them anywhere near your bed. Or you may prefer not to let them upstairs at all. It really is up to you. The main thing is to make sure your pooch knows what they can and can't do and have clear, consistent boundaries that everyone in the home sticks to, so they don't get confused.