What are boundaries?!
Boundaries are a way to communicate to your dog the things you find inappropriate. Walking around, I see many people yell “NO!” to their dogs and the dog completely ignoring them. The truth of the matter is, your dog isn’t ignoring you, he just doesn’t understand your expectation. Creating boundaries is essential to ensuring a happy and healthy home life and walk. Communication and persistence is key.
I don’t want to give my dog boundaries because he’s so stinkin’ cute!
The issue with this is the dogs can get away with murder, come in between relationships, dictate when you can have company, who can sit where, etc. When you don’t have control of your dog, it’s obvious! It’s up to us to have the courage to say, “this is a problem and I need to do something about it!” You wouldn’t be the first, nor would you be the last. Just because you dog weighs 8 pounds, doesn’t mean that he can’t do damage. When our dogs bite us, whether it’s through play or otherwise, it hurts. It hurts in more ways than one. It can make you feel that your dog doesn’t like you, despite you hugging and kissing him all day. When the dog breaks skin, it can make us feel sad and depressed. The dog doesn’t know better, but we should. I always use the analogy, “If you get shot by a 2 year old, it’ll hurt just the same as if you were shot by an adult.” The same holds true to dogs. No matter how big or small, they need boundaries.
If I give boundaries, will that ruin my relationship with my dog?!
Absolutely not! If anything, it will increase the respect and communication between you and your dog. Having a dog with boundaries doesn’t mean that the dog can’t be himself, it just means that there is a limit that he should not exceed. You will still be able to RUFF HOUSE with your dog, but when you decide that playtime is over, it should be done. The dog should not dictate when the game is over.