Boundary training.

                                                 Greeting Mom after a grocery shopping trip.  

      As I go back and forth from the car to get the groceries, Luke and Elsa wait calmly and patiently. 

Boundary training is one of the best things that you can ever teach your dog.  No matter where the boundaries are, you can use them to help teach more.  Once a dog "gets" the idea of not crossing an invisible boundary; their capacity to learn other boundaries goes up.  Boundary training is about not going into certain rooms, going out doors or gates. 

Teaching a boundary like the door above will NEVER, EVER be a waste of time.  Once your dog is solid on a door boundary it is very easy to move to other doors.  Many dogs generalize well and will hesitate before going out any door, once they have learned and understand the idea of boundaries.  Setting up new boundaries with a dog who already knows about boundaries can be done in a few easy steps.  Some need a tiny reminder of an error marker; a simple ahhhh as they consider going through. 

Door boundaries can take time to teach; especially if you have a guaranteed bolter.  But by simply rewarding them for NOT going out the door the learning curve can be achieved quickly.  When you start teaching a boundary you must leash your dog, just in case.  A boundary is an invisible line that you draw in the sand so to speak; your dog is not to cross it unless told otherwise.  There is no command given not to cross it, only when they are allowed to cross it.  This makes the line steadfast at all times. 

Learning boundaries does not mean that your dog will never be able to go a particular area but that they must wait for a release word.  Your release word can be anything; something that comes to mind, you can remember and is saved for that specific reason.  You can use the same release for feeding, stay and many other things where a release is needed.

If you go on vacation with your dogs; visit friends or family, boundary training can come in very handy.  A dog who runs through open doors or gates without asking first, creates a dangerous situation.  Teaching a dog that an open door is not an invite to go through is a great thing.  Of course consistency is needed for boundary training; it is the key to a really solid boundary. 

Typically boundaries are set up in areas where a dog can be hurt or run off if they go through it.  Although a boundary can be trained wherever you want to set up a boundary.  Dogs are amazingly good at learning boundaries if you take the time to teach them.  Dogs being dogs, will mean that boundaries are never 100%; so even when your dog is boundary trained, you must always err on the side of safety.  How great would it be to be able to open the door without worrying about your dog running through?
You will NEVER, EVER regret boundary training.