We often hear from clients who are having issues with their dog getting into the trash when they’re not home, chewing the baseboards, chewing sofa cushions or pillows, chewing up socks and underwear, getting into the dirty laundry or stealing children’s toys. The list usually attributed to bad qualities of a dog goes on.
The catch here is, they’re not trying to be bad when they do these things, they’re just being animals. For example, your dog isn’t trying to be bad when he gets into the trash. He just smells the delicious odors of any food scraps you have put in there and his nose is demanding he gets those out.
Training is fantastic for correcting these behaviors when you are home and able to supervise and coach the dog about what’s allowed and what’s not allowed, but when you are not home, you’re dealing with management, not training.
Management, on the other hand, is creating a safe place for your dog where he can’t get into trouble. Since we are unable to correct behavior we do not see happening, when we are not home, we must set our dogs up for success by giving them a safe space. A crate is usually your best option but if your dog has issues with the crate or your home isn’t large enough to set one up, you can create a safe place by using baby gates or exercise pens to limit his access to the house.
Just like I keep my horses in a paddock at home with their own shelter and my goats in their own pen. If I didn’t they would both eat my trees and trample on my flowers.
You aren’t being mean, you’re just being responsible. No good comes from dogs free roaming in the house. We are big advocates of training and management, the perfect duo to a perfect dog.