As much as you love your dog and enjoy his company, chances are there are some areas of your home or property you want to consider off-limits to pets. Maybe your dog begs for food in the kitchen or refuses to get off your bed in the bedroom. Regardless of where you want to create a dog-free zone, some simple training techniques can help you set appropriate boundaries.
Training your dog in such a way that he recognizes you as the dominant pack leader will go a long way toward getting your dog’s attention and making it clear that when you set boundaries, you expect to be obeyed. Enroll in a group obedience training program or hire a dog trainer to come to your house for private lessons. Your dog should learn basic commands including "sit," "stay," "come" and "lie down." Practicing these commands repeatedly will help you be an authority figure when you tell your dog there are certain spaces that are off-limits.
Establish barriers to guard areas you want your dog to stay clear of. Inside, you can use baby gates as blockades or gates and barriers available at pet supply stores. Outside consider fences or prickly bush barriers. These physical boundaries will help establish areas as being off-limits. Depending on the temperament of your dog, you may eventually be able to remove blockades and direct your dog to lie down and stay outside the boundaries.
You can use commercially-produced or homemade scent deterrents both inside and outside your home as a way to keep your dog clear of key areas. For example, if you want your dog to stay out of your flowerbeds, sprinkle cayenne or red pepper around the border of the garden to repel him from the area. If you want to keep a dog out of the kitchen, place a vinegar-soaked rag at the doorway -- he won’t like the smell.
You can purchase plastic floor mats with raised plastic knobs on one side that will feel uncomfortable if your dog steps on them. Your family members will have to wear shoes to avoid the discomfort, but using this material or commercially produced double-sided sticky tape to create an unpleasant surface can also help keep your dog out of unwanted areas. Always test a product in a discrete area of flooring to ensure there are no staining or undesirable residual effects.
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