Boundary training for your dog is the act of teaching him to stay in or out of certain areas. In this article, we’ll say that the kitchen is the room that you would like your dog to stay out of. Boundary training isn’t difficult, but it does take some time during the beginning phases, and requires some management until the training is completed.
To start, have your dog on leash and some yummy treats on hand. Step toward your kitchen boundary and stop just before entering. Reward your dog for stopping with you; if necessary, call his name as you come to a stop to ensure that he will stop, too. Reward several times in a row with your dog on the outside of the kitchen boundary with you. Back up and approach the kitchen boundary several more times, stopping just outside the kitchen and rewarding the dog for stopping outside with you. Continue like this until your dog is anticipating stopping outside the kitchen.
Next, as you walk toward the kitchen, continue one step past the boundary, turn back to your dog and reward him for staying outside the kitchen. Repeat this several times — gradually stepping farther into the kitchen each time, while your dog remains outside the kitchen. Remember to keep returning to your dog to reward him for staying outside the kitchen. In your training sessions, vary distance and duration. That means that in one training session you stay close to the boundary but increase the time between rewards, and in the next session you go farther from the boundary but come back quickly to reward your dog. Work toward increasing distance and duration during the same training session.
Completing your boundary training will likely take several weeks. There will be times, such as when you’re cooking or eating, when you need to manage the kitchen boundary. This is when you should give your dog a treat-stuffed toy, while he relaxes in his crate.