You’ve got a new pup and everything is great. He is very cute, he is playful and he loves you as much as you love him. But while it is great to have him snuggling up in bed with you now, when he’s fully grown and wants to sit on your head all night long when you’ve got a 9am meeting at work, you’ll be wishing he wasn’t always in your personal space.
You’re going to need to set some boundaries for him. As much as you love him, you don’t want him upstairs whenever he pleases. That’s your personal space. And it’s even more important if you’re planning to have guests to stay who will also want a good night’s sleep. So, get ready to teach your puppy how to stay downstairs. It may take a little time and effort, but it will be worth it when you’re both sleeping soundly in your own beds.
Training your puppy to stay downstairs is pretty simple to do. It is less about getting them to follow commands and more about encouraging good behaviors and discouraging bad behaviors. For this reason, it will take a bit more perseverance than teaching them to sit might. It requires regular and maintained practice of the methods on your behalf in order to make it an ingrained way of life.
Most of these methods are important to start while your dog is young. Once they are older, behaviors like this are harder to change. If you can get them used to the idea that upstairs is out of bounds from the beginning, you’ll be able to maintain it throughout their lifetime with minimal effort involved.
Setting your own territories is important for establishing the relationship between you and your dog. While you love him like a child, you need to set the expectation that they will listen to your commands. If you have your own space, and they have theirs, it creates the idea that they are different from you and must listen.
There are a few things that you might want to purchase before you get started. Crate training is a great way to teach puppies behaviors from an early age. Buy the correct size crate for your pup and choose an area of the household that will be their territory. It’s important not to move the crate mid-training, or even years afterward if you feel like redecorating. This will be their personal space and you must respect that. You may also want to purchase other equipment such as a child gate, although this isn’t always necessary.
But the most important thing to bring is perseverance. Changes do not happen overnight.