When we first bring home our furry bundles of love, training is often the last thing on our minds -- but this often leads to the difficult task of breaking bad habits later. When you consider these 10 potential house rules before your new dog settles in, it helps to establish much-needed boundaries in a loving way right from the start.
Check out these 10 rules, and decide what kind of pet parent you will be:
1. Allowed on the Furniture
What’s your take when it comes to letting Fido lounge on the couch or in your bed? Some dog parents love nothing more than to cuddle up on the couch with their best furry friend to watch a movie on a Friday night. Others can’t stand seeing the furniture and their clothes coated in dog fur, and the struggle of non-stop lint-rollering is a major turn off.
2. Jumping on People
Are you okay with a small dog standing on their hind legs and pawing visitors, or do you feel it’s important that all dogs, no matter their size, keep all four feet on the floor when saying hello? Some large dog parents like to “dance” with their dog by placing the dog’s paws on their shoulders, but some don’t want to foster behavior that might be frightening, overwhelming, or confusing should guests come to visit.
Do you want your dog to kiss you on the lips, or does this gross you out? Some pet parents find smooching their dog on the lips to be a natural gesture of love and affection. Other pet parents are completely disgusted by the thought of a dog licking a human’s mouth.
4. Eating People Food
Some pet parents are not only okay with their dog eating people food, they actually cook special meals for their dog, some even fit for a king! Some will only give specific people foods such as a certain leftover. Other pet parents want to make it clear that people food isn’t for the dog at all, in order to avoid the potential for confusion and begging.
5. Eating at the Table
Is it okay with you if the dog stands or sits next to the table and watches while people eat? Or would you rather the dog lie down in another room during dinner? Some dogs will lie under the table while the family eats, but some pet parents find a furry body under their feet while they eat to be an annoyance.
6. Sleeping at Night
Are you okay having a dog sleep in bed with you, or would you rather your pet slept in their own bed on the floor? Some pet parents don’t want their dog in the bedroom with them, while others insist on sharing the pillow beneath their head.
7. Morning Routine
What time will you take your dog out each morning to do their business? Is a leisurely morning walk going to be a part of the routine, or would you rather just let your dog out for a quick wee while you take your time waking up?
8. Night Routine
Who is going to feed the dog, and at what time? Will the dog get an evening walk, or will they just get let out to do their business briefly right before sleep? Will you signal to your dog that it’s time for sleep at a set time each night, or will you let your dog put themselves to bed whenever they feel like it?
9. Division of Duties
Unfortunately, dog poop doesn’t pick itself up; who is going to pooper-scoop the yard? Who is responsible for purchasing food and medicines? Who will take the dog to the vet for vaccinations and checkups?
10. Cleaning Up
Our loving dogs can be messy creatures. Who is going to sweep up the fur balls? Who will wipe up the muddy footprints and take care of the sloshing water dish, the potty accidents, and those unfortunate times when dog barf appears?
Hopefully after reading all of these rules to consider, you have a better idea of what kind of pet parent you want to be. Now make sure you keep it up! We pet parents know that as much work as a dog can be, the love, the joy, and the laughs are totally worth it. Just set your ground rules and stick to ‘em.
More on Dog Training
Try An Indoor Training Class With Your Dog
Training An Older Dog
How To Start Your Dog Peeing In The Yard?