Teaching our dog boundaries



For a few years before we had Miss E, Miss Penny the Labrador was our baby. She ruled the house. She was spoilt with our undivided attention.

We’ve often described her as an incredibly intelligent, but stupid dog. She can shake paws, and change paws when we say ‘other paw’, she can high five, wave, get her food cup and take us to her food container at dinner time. But she also eats duck poo…

For as long as we’ve lived in this house, she has never been allowed in our carpeted bedrooms. She knows these rules well and has always obeyed them (unless we’re not looking).

The exception to this rule, was the rug on the lounge room floor. No matter how much we told her off, she didn’t understand, and so we gave up and learned to live with a lounge room rug that had to be constantly vacuumed, or would otherwise be littered with blonde hair.

Once we were pregnant and knew that the rug on the lounge room floor would soon have a little person rolling around on it, we realised we had to get serious about teaching Penny to stay off of it.

So we took the rug away for three weeks. When we brought it back, we didn’t let her on it. We kept her off by telling the rug off each time she stepped foot on it. Yes you read that right, we told the rug off. Not Penny.

We would get down on hands and knees, slap the carpet, and say ‘No Carpet!’

Within a couple of days, she wouldn’t dare step foot on the rug.

When Miss E came home, this rule by extension, applied to everything that was on the carpet, including Miss E’s mat and her toys.

This has worked well ever since. Penny tiptoes around the edge of the rug to get to us, and tells visitors off if they sit where she can’t get to them without walking on the rug.

For a while she found the allure of Miss E’s toys a bit hard to handle. We had to tell her to keep away a few times and ended up with her sitting at the edge of Miss E’s mat with a line of her own toys.


We’re pretty proud of our beautiful fur baby!

Abby xx

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