Learning and reinforcing your homes boundaries in a new environment can be one of the biggest frustrations for a new foster dog and Carer. It's super important start working on this as soon as your foster dog arrives through the use of mat training.
The tips to creating a harmonious environment is to:
- Make your rules clear.
- Be consistent, and
- Reward them for getting it right!
These are the rules set up for my own dogs and any new fosters I take in. But you can set your own.
I don't care if they go in before me, after me or alongside me, but it must be CALM and on INVITATION only. So we ask for a Sit, and they Wait, until given the invitation In.
Dogs who wander the house find mischief! Usually soft, fluffy, shreddable, chewy fun. Dog who own your couch leave no room for guests and will have nowhere else to sit once moved.
Mat or Place training provides a comfy spot where they can relax, and still be included in the goings on of your home and gives them a sense what's expected of them. It's also great for creating calm and providing an alternate behaviour. They can't play rumble if they're on their mats. They can't mark territory if they are on their own mat. They can't steal your defrosting dinner, your dirty socks, jocks or your kids favourite stuffed toy - because they are on THEIR MAT.
And don't forget to reward them when they do stay calmly on their mats! A Thumbs up! Good dog! Or flick them a titbit or treat.