Developing a love for their boundary is the first thing on the agenda for all of the dogs that we work with. Boundary games are not only fun, they are super useful for building strong foundations for all other training concepts. These foundations are hugely supportive in helping to turn your dogs struggles in to strengths!
A boundary can be a bed, a crate, a mat or a blanket - pretty much anything can work as a boundary for your dog. Whatever you decide to use, our ultimate aim is to build so much value with the boundary that it's a place your dog loves to be! Better still your dog will learn that being on their boundary is a time to be calm, cool, collected and chilled out. As you work to build their skills through boundary training, your dog will learn how to quickly adjust their mindset - to be able to move easily from being in high arousal (excited, barking, full of life, wanting to play or even fearful) in to a calm and settled state. This is a skill that will help in all types of scenarios - from the pooch that goes crazy when he sees the postman to a dog that barks and lunges on the lead when they see another dog. Having the skill to go from hyper to calm is gold!
Boundaries are also super useful for safety. Having a boundary for your dog as you get them out of the car is great for ensuring your dog stays in a safe place as you gather anything else you might need and lock up the vehicle. Having a familiar boundary for your dog in a new setting - like when you take your dog on holiday, can instil confidence and help them to quickly settle in a new environment. And the best bit is that once your dog is trained to stay on their boundary until you release them, then anything at all can be a boundary. Throw a towel or blanket down on the floor - you have a boundary. Have your pup hop up on a chair - you have a boundary. This can work in any location!
Building value on the boundary is key here. This isn't your dog being sent to bed or being 'forced' to stay. Your dog will grow to love their boundary so much that being on the boundary is a privilege. The boundary becomes a super strong magnet for your dog!
If you're keen to get started with boundary training and your dog then check out this video that introduces you to the first steps.
Want to learn more? Then come along to one of our puppy or life skills classes - we'd love to see you there.