Boundaries, rules, structure and accountability are such important fundamentals in leading our dogs and when we have a very firm dog, those boundaries, rules, structure and accountability have to be just as firm!
Boundaries are lines we draw that dogs are not permitted to cross such as staying out of our personal space bubble, staying within the edges of the place cot or staying within the property lines in the yard. We establish boundaries by showing the dog how to stay within the designated area and by correcting the dog for intentionally crossing the boundary once they understand where and what it is.
Rules are consistent guidelines about our dogs conduct that we hold them accountable for following at all times like no jumping, no counter surfing, stay off the furniture, hold a down/stay in the car, hold an auto-sit on the walk when the handler stops walking, no reactivity, no scanning, no marking, etc.
Structure is the framework that supports the dog’s training and helps maintain it longterm by giving them a consistent routine and minimizing the opportunity for the dog to slip back into old bad habits. Structure includes things like the crating routine, the Place Command, the structured remote collar heel on the walk or the off leash follow command on a hike.
Accountability is providing meaningful consequences for the dog’s choices and behaviour. Good choices like holding commands and heeling calmly in the walk are rewarded and poor choices like reactivity and aggression are corrected so that the dog has a crystal clear and ‘balanced’ understanding about what behaviour/mindset/attitudes are acceptable and also which are unacceptable. 😉💕