Even when Luke had some serious barking to do in the yard, Elsa left the ball.  

Wow; sorry about the late blog this morning.  I was up early packing up goodies for my hubby to take to work and then hit the gym right after that.  Then it was out with the pooches, a quick snack and here I am.  With the heat rising quickly during the day it is essential to get the dogs out early.  I think today will be a pool day; Elsa is feeling great and I need to play in the pool.  :)  I thought this morning that I'd discuss implementing rules, ahhhh...........rules.

I know lots of people who have no rules for their dogs; they basically do what they want and annoy lots of visitors and friends who are not use to dogs ruling the house.  Rules are an important part of life, we have to live with tons of rules and so should our dogs.  So what rules are important?  It will vary hugely depending on  the family, your home and you; there will be things that you cannot tolerate that other people will tolerate.  We have a lot of rules and although I'm pretty strict; life becomes very easy when you implement rules early on in your relationship.

Elsa knows that begging at the table will get her nothing (that is unless her Dad gives it to her).  She also knows that if she goes and lays down on a bed that she will be rewarded for staying away from the table.  It is very funny to watch her as we sit down to eat.  She frantically searches for the nearest bed to hit and then gives us the laser beam eyes.  As she is getting older the treats come further apart but it is a well ingrained rule that I really like.

We also have a very serious "no bolting out doors" rule.  This is enforced constantly (of course mostly with me) and not others members of the family as much.  For me, it is of the utmost importance to have a dog who understands this rule and will obey it.  That little dog running around the street that I blogged about the other day could most definitely have used this rule.

Yesterday afternoon was spent baking; I made cupcakes and cake.  They were all out on my kitchen table which is well within eating reach for the dogs.  Luke of course would never in a million years consider it (well maybe just one lick of the cream cheese frosting) he knows all too well what would happen.  Elsa also knows that she is not allowed to take things off of the table or the counter for the matter.  Counter surfing is something that I cannot tolerate.  I remember walking into a clients home to see their very large German Shepherd surfing the whole counter.  I was shocked and very abruptly said "is this okay with you?"  The owner calmly said "ya, he does that."  He does that?  Well he should not do that.

Then her young son wanted some ice cream so as she attempted to get a bowl and fill it with ice cream for him she was bombarded, pushed and shoved by her German Shepherd who was trying to take it from her.  Not okay, not even close.  The counter and table are great places to implement rules and I believe everyone should implement these ones.  It is a very easy way to say "hey I own this place; this is mine, don't touch it."

Dogs do that sort of implementing of rules.  Luke kept a ball away from Elsa the other day with the rule that he'd been playing with it.  He lay claim and she begged and grovelled until he finally relented.  Even though he did not have physical ownership of the ball he had in no uncertain terms laid claim to it as it sat out in front of him.  We should be able to do the same.

When trying to decide what rules should be implemented in your household; think of the things that make you say "I hate it when they do that."  Make it a rule that they don't do it.