Household Rules

I had a couple in one of my training classes that owned a beautiful Akita puppy named Frank. The husband flat out didn’t want the dog on the couple’s bed at any time.  Every morning the bed would be made with all the pillows neatly stacked. Every morning the husband would take a shower before setting off to work. Every morning he got out of the shower then walked into the bedroom the dog would not be in the bed.  But every morning there was undeniable evidence that the dog had recently curled up on the bed because of the big hairy indent with the pillows on the floor. He could never catch the dog on the bed. The dog had learned it was perfectly okay to be on the bed but not when dad was around.

The wife, on the other hand, didn’t care that the dog wasn’t allowed on the bed. In fact, she enjoyed snuggling with her baby and Frank on the bed whenever the husband left for work. The wife thought it was hysterical that the husband could never catch the dog in the act. Well, I’m not a marriage counselor but I knew something had to change.

Puppy parents need to define realistic expectations for their dog and their families that they all can agree on. What is acceptable in your house is a personal choice. I’m not the furniture police. I can’t tell you or your family what to do with your dog. It should be your personal decision that the family all can agree.  Some people would be appalled that I allow my dog in my bed or next to me on the couch. If one person in the household allows the puppy up on the furniture the puppy will do it again. Whether you are man or beast we all love comfort. There have to be rules and guidelines for the entire family, including the dog. Rules of the house help provide consistency and predictability for your puppy. When setting the rules, ask yourself these questions:

Will the puppy be allowed on the furniture?

Will the puppy sleep in your bed?

Will the puppy have full access or limited access in the house?

Will food scraps be given from the table (never a good idea) or only in his food bowl?

It should be all for one and one for all!

Submitted by Marion C. O’Neil CPDT-KA, CTDI owner, and trainer of Molasses Creek Dog Training, LLC, Quakertown


New Classes Starting:

Puppy Bowl Party                 2/4 Sun 2:00 p.m.   

Puppy I Manners               1/25 Thur. 7:30 p.m.

Teenrover/Adult-Manners   1/22 Mon. 6:00 p.m.

Teenrover/Adult-Manners    1/28 Sun. 11:00 a.m.

Novice Trick Dog (NTD)            2/24 Sat. 10:00 a.m  

AKC Canine Good Citizen 2/19 Mon. 7:00 p.m.  

Puppy I Manners                 2/10 Sat. 12:30 p.m.

Teenrover/Adult-Manners   2/11 Sun. 1:00 p.m. 

Check calendar for more scheduled classes!