If you've moved to a new house with your older dog, or if you've recently adopted a senior dog, you might want to keep a few areas of the house off limits. The kitchen, a bedroom, or the bathroom can be designated dog-free areas, even if your older dog has never had these boundaries before.
Though it may take a little more time and patience, your older dog can learn which spots he should steer clear of. This kind of training is called boundary training and can be used for a variety of situations. Maybe you've recently had a child and want the dog to stay out of the nursery, or you are tired of tripping over your little hoover as he searches for crumbs in the kitchen. Whatever the reason, your older dog can learn new tricks and help you out in the process.
Teaching your older dog to stay out of a room takes vigilance, consistency, and time. Not only does he have to learn a new rule, but he also has to unlearn something he may have been doing his whole life. To ensure your new boundary sticks, make sure all access to the room is cut off, even when you aren't home. You can purchase a baby gate for the doorway to keep him from sneaking in, or you can keep the door to the room closed at all times. Remember, he won't understand the reasoning for the change, and if he still can access the room occasionally, he'll have a hard time figuring out that it's permanent. Have patience, be consistent, and don't give in. Your reasons for keeping him out the room are important, and he will learn to adjust. Make sure that everyone in your household is on the same page, so no one is letting the dog into the restricted area accidentally and confusing him when you ask him to stay out.
Getting started with training your dog is relatively easy, and you won't need too many tools. After you have created barriers to keep him out when you aren't looking, here is what you need to help him learn the places he can't set his paws.
- A short leash.
- A mat that can be designated just for your dog.
Each dog is different, and older dogs can require more time to master boundary training. Here are three different methods for training your older dog to stay out of a room. Find the best fit and give it a try. With dedication and attention, your older dog will learn that a room is now off limits.