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Dog Training – How to set gentle boundaries for your dog

Do these situations sound familiar to you? The doorbell rings and your dog immediately rushes to the front door? Does your dog immediately jump into the leash at a dog encounter? Or just won’t stay in his basket, even though you sent him there?
All these problems can be solved by setting gently boundaries. We at Pupy would like to explain to you today what a boundary is, why it is important to set boundaries, and how you can gently and successfully set boundaries for your dog.


What is a boundary? A boundary is the occupation of a space that your dog is temporarily or always (it’s up to you) not allowed to enter. The point is not to punish your dog but to establish a very clear rule.


Why are boundaries so important? Through set gentle boundaries, you give your dog orientation and security. He does not have to decide for himself how to behave in different situations, e.g. when visitors come. This ensures that your dog has less stress. In addition, boundaries can avoid conflict situations. A good example is given by dogs among themselves: If a dog lays claim to space opposite the other, e.g. his own basket, he usually makes himself big, fixes and growls at the other dog if necessary, if he approaches too close to his resting place. The other dog has now two possibilities, either he accepts the boundary and goes out of the way of the conflict or he crosses it and triggers a conflict. Most dogs will avoid the conflict and accept the other dog’s boundary. This is usually followed by an appeasing behavior e.g. licking the muzzle and turning away the dog, which is now looking for another place to rest.
How do I set gentle boundaries for my dog? Of course, we humans communicate somewhat differently than dogs, nevertheless, we can imitate certain behaviors successfully so that our dog also understands us.


Small exercise:

  1. Stand in front of your dog.
  2. Make yourself tall and walk towards him.

What happens?

  • Most dogs, now take a step back or even sit down.
  • Now turn away from your dog again and take the tension out of the situation.

What happens?

  • If your dog stays on the spot, he has understood the boundary.
  • If your dog approaches you again, you go towards him again, this time until he sits down. Then you turn away again.
  • If your dog has accepted the boundary, you can now dissolve it again by crouching down and calling your dog to you in a friendly manner and praising him verbally, and playing with him if necessary (food is not necessary here!).

Congratulations! You’ve just successfully set a boundary for your dog and also dissolved it.


How can I use this technique in everyday life? You can use this technique of setting boundaries in everyday life whenever you want to separate a certain space from your dog. This can be a real room, such as the kitchen, or a certain area, such as the area in front of the front door when visitors come, or the area in front of your feet when your dog should walk on the lax leash.


As you can see, boundaries can help you with a variety of concerns with your dog. The important thing to remember here is that there are dogs that like to test and question their boundaries. If your dog growls at you when you set boundaries, or shows any other behavior that seems unusual to you, you should definitely discuss this issue with a competent dog trainer. Feel free to contact us about this in our trainer chat in the Pupy app.

If you have any questions about this or any other topic regarding your dog, you can always contact us via our trainer chat. We look forward to getting to know you and your dog!
Have fun training with your dog!


Your Pupy Team