One myth about training based on positive reinforcement is that there are no boundaries or rules for the dog. Is this really so?! Well … No boundaries regarding training possibilities – YES! No boundaries or rules for the dog regarding living together – NO!
First, let’s give the terms “boundaries” and “setting boundaries” a bit more content:
- boundaries enable the coexistence of individuals with different interests – between humans and dogs as well.
- boundaries require adapting to the environment.
- boundaries effect expectancy and confidence.
- boundaries are individual.
- boundaries are essen5als of life and therefore indispensable! BUT! Do dogs understand them?
Because in the end we are talking about dogs and they learn, among other things, from the consequences of their actions. We can not expect insight to rules like humans do from dogs … Setting boundaries also means NOT being loud and unfriendly, becoming physical or punishing the dog for unwanted behavior.
Setting boundaries means providing safety through clear, consistent leadership and thus creating predictability for the dog!
But how do we communicate this to our dogs?
First of all, we have to clearly determine for us, which boundaries there are, or should be, in our living together with the dog! Then we have to communicate this to the dog by consistently interrupting unwanted behaviour. For example by management measures, that prevent the performance. Or by a signal, that prevents the dog from his ac5ons. Because: EVERY well- trained signal is a behaviour interruptor! A boundarie must not be arbitrary, because this is not a one-way street! The dog must be sure of what to expect. In particular threatening, unpleasant and disturbing situations must be announced! Announcements are warnings and warnings help secure boundaries.
In addition, boundaries generally only make sense if the behaviour can be controlled by the dog willingly, and if he can identify the boundary! Therefore, setting boundaries is a complex but absolutely necessary topic!
Vie below links [in German] you will find concrete instructions for the implementation of rules and boundaries in everyday life.
- Hey-Fiffi.com: Positiv Grenzen setzen – wie geht das?
- 4Pfoten on tour: Grenzen setzen, aber richtig
- SitzPlatzFuss: Grenzen setzen
- Hunde-weise: Grenzen setzen
- KlartextHund: Grenzen setzen ist einfach