Should The Dog Be Allowed Upstairs?
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Questions sometimes arise as to where a dog should be allowed to go in the home.
I received a call from someone who owned a single wide mobile home in a forested area in Seattle. They had installed white carpet throughout, with a small linoleum entry on either end of the unit. They wanted me to teach the dog that it could only stay on the linoleum, and if it got on the carpet, to run to the other side to the other patch of linoleum. I told them this wasn’t fair to the dog, and I turned them down.
I met a couple who kept their dogs in the garage all the time. They wanted their dogs obedience trained, but had decided to never let the dogs in the home, and didn’t have time to walk or spend time with the dogs. They had no intention of walking the dogs, taking them anywhere, or playing with them. They wanted the training so the dogs didn’t jump up on them or bark when let into the laundry room for dinner. I told them this a horrible life for the dogs, and I turned them down.
There are some places in the home that should be off limits to most dogs. I believe it best, for most dogs, to teach them to stay out of the pantry, kids (under 10 years of age) bedrooms, bathrooms (pills can fall on the floor, dirty, clothing can be destroyed, dogs shouldn’t be allowed to drink out of the toilet, small dogs can drown in the tub), and closets.
In some homes, there are roommates or others that shouldn’t be left unsupervised with the dog. You may have someone with a serious illness who can endanger the dog, or that the dog might endanger. You might have an elderly person living with you that could be knocked down by the dog, or who is not patient or responsible with the dog unsupervised. You may live with someone who is mentally or physically handicapped, who shouldn’t be left unsupervised with the dog. All those areas might need to be restricted.
In some homes, there are areas or rooms that are not safe for a dog. Craft rooms, for example, can have dangerous objects or chemicals. Basements can be dangerous. Attics can be dangerous. Offices can be dangerous. Work rooms can be dangerous. Some stairways can be dangerous. Some homes have indoor pools where a dog could drown. Some rooms can have plants, or valuable artwork, or other objects that could be destroyed by a dog. Some homes have people coming and going through back and side entrances where a dog could escape or get caught by a slamming door. As a general rule, if it wouldn’t be safe for a toddler, it probably isn’t a safe place for your dog unsupervised, or not at all.
It is important to provide your dog with a pleasant home environment, so the dog can socially interact with the residents and be comfortable and happy. It’s not just about protecting the dog, property or people from harm. The layout of the home should also be set up so as to be beneficial physically and mentally for your dog.
For more ideas, it is best to hire a behaviorist to do a walk through of your home.
Sam Basso is a professional dog trainer and behaviorist, in the Phoenix/ Scottsdale metropolitan area. He’s known for being fun, kind, intelligent, and humane. Sam Basso has a unique personal touch. He has appeared on his own TV show, been a guest radio expert, gives seminars, publishes a dog related blog, does rescue volunteering, and is active in promoting animal welfare and fair dog laws.