Die wichtigsten 4 Hausregeln für deinen Hund

The 4 most important house rules for your dog

House rule

"If you don't know your place at home, you won't know it outside and in conflicts either". - Vitomalia

The house rules form the basis of dog training. As the head of the house, you determine which house rules and rules apply. Rules make living together easier and create respect and acceptance. Every household needs its own house rules for its dog in order to be able to guarantee harmonious and respectful coexistence. Every dog household is different, lives under different conditions, has had different experiences and consists of different personalities. Adapt the house rules with a dog to your needs. In dog training, the house rules form the basis for all further behavior. If you can't do the basics in the house, you don't even have to start with behavioral problems outside. You can imagine the dog-human team as a team where the dog is the employee and you are the team leader. As a team leader, you define tasks and responsibilities. As a dog person, you are responsible for safety - your dog does not have to and must not do that. The cooperative working relationship between you and your dog arises when each team member knows their tasks and responsibilities. You, as a person, are responsible for the distribution of resources, for security and team building, i.e. building relationships. Rules are particularly necessary in multi-dog households and households with children. If the dog person does not take the aspect of safety and guidance seriously, the dog will bark loudly for safety and guidance. In a multi-dog household, this can lead to a very unpleasant and restless momentum. The house rules for the dog ensure a clear distribution of resources. Your dog is simply not entitled to use resources independently. In households with children, this can lead to unpleasant encounters with children's toys. We advise you to establish house rules for your dog at an early stage and to enforce them. 

territory and home range

Every dog possesses an innate territorial behavior that is completely natural. Our dogs inhabit their territory, they guard it and they protect it. In the dog we distinguish between territory (core space) and home range (action space). The dog defends the territory and the dog stays in the home range or action area, but does not defend it. The areas in which your dog's important resources are located, i.e. its sleeping place or food, are defended particularly intensively. It is the core territory. Territories are important to our dogs because:

The territory is also walked regularly. You can think of it like a patrol. Dogs also mark their territory. Marking means defecating or urinating, scratching or growling and barking. Your dog's territory may include:

  • the apartment / house (but possibly not all rooms)
  • the garden
  • the car
  • the walkway
  • other places where the dog is regularly (dog run, dog daycare, walking area...)

Rule 1: Create core territory

Building up peace and relaxation at home is something many dog people miss when training their dog. The dog can go anywhere and anytime at home, can make decisions independently and occupy rooms or run after its human. The constant chasing is very stressful for your dog and can lead to psychological and health problems if the stress persists. Depending on the dog's personality or character, a stress-free life is not a matter of course. As a dog person, it is our job to encourage relaxation in our dog. You can offer relaxation and tranquility through boundaries, rules and defined house rules. Prepare a special core territory for your dog that will become your dog's main habitat. The core territory is the place where your dog can retreat to in exciting, unfamiliar, or stressful situations. In non-dog situations, you can also lead your dog to its core territory. are well suited Kennelsdog boxes or cavernous dog places. If you don't have it, submit Dog place with wall mounting option out. Every dog has different preferences when it comes to their dog space. The core territory plays an essential role in house rules in the dog. Design the core territory based on your dog's preferences instead of just following your own ideas! 
To ensure that your dog actively learns to calm down, you can use a dog harness or collar with a leash over the next 21 days to lead your dog back to his place whenever rest is the order of the day. 

Use the core territory for rest and relaxation

  • when you are eating
  • as long as you prepare food for your dog,
  • when you have visitors
  • as soon as you leave the room
  • or in any situation where your dog becomes restless.
This limitation will be silly for your dog at first and he will probably nag. Your dog has to learn to endure this frustration because frustration tolerance is a core skill that is needed in dog training for countless areas (e.g. recall training). Plus, it's perfectly legitimate for your dog to learn that your entire day isn't always about them and that they aren't always the center of attention. If you build up good blanket training with enough frustration tolerance, your dog will find it easier to be left alone. You are doing your dog good in many ways with blanket training in the core territory. 
Boundaries provide security and security provides relaxation. - Vitomalia

House Rules – core territory for rest and relaxation

Adult and healthy dogs need about 80-90% of the day to snooze. That's about 16-20 hours of the entire day. A dog that is constantly under tension both outside and in the house cannot actively calm down and process what it has learned. Hyperactive dogs in particular need to learn to rest. Sleep is important for your dog's stress management. During sleep, the hormone cortisol decreases. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and is increasingly released into your dog's body in stressful situations. With sufficient rest periods, your dog can break down cortisol. If your dog doesn't get enough sleep, cortisol levels will remain high. As a result, your dog will experience increased stress. Exercise also breaks down the stress hormone cortisol. Stressed dogs that don't get enough rest periods then compensate for their stress with exercise. The vicious cycle begins and a stressed dog becomes a hyperactive dog that is stressed.

Let sleeping dogs lie! - saying

Calmness must and can be learned. If your dog doesn't calm down on its own, you can use the house rules to instruct your dog to calm down. Actively building up and using the core territory and consciously guiding the dog in its dog space will offer a balanced and stress-free everyday life with your dog. Only if you, as a dog person, are aware of how important rest is for your dog and how much damage you promote by not having enough rest can you consistently enforce the core territory - without exception.

Rule 2: Define and enforce taboo zones

Taboo zones are rooms, areas or objects where the dog has no business. Our dogs live with us in one household. This does not mean that our dog can completely occupy our home. Your dog does not have to be the center of your attention endlessly and it is permissible to define spatial boundaries. 

Taboo zones can be: 
  • the kitchen, 
  • the sofa, 
  • the bed, 
  • the nursery, 
  • objects such as children's toys or shoes, 
  • the area around the fireplace,
  • etc.

A taboo zone in the house rules for dogs can either be fixed and permanent or variable and limited. You can define a room as a taboo zone only for a certain day or only for a few minutes because you just wet wiped that room. It is important that you always and without exception comply with a taboo zone. If you define the kitchen as a fixed taboo zone, then the kitchen will always remain a taboo zone. It is up to you whether you introduce one, several or no taboo zones at all. The same applies to objects or areas. You can make certain objects or areas taboo in the house rules or for a specific time frame. It is advisable to practice taboo zones in the household so that you can practice your body language communication and thus restrictions with your dog. If your body language assertiveness is clear at home and your dog accepts your boundaries, it will be easier for you to set new boundaries outside. Your dog has to learn to accept limits and you have to learn to implement them through your energy.

Violence ends where respect begins. - unknown

You create the taboo zone through physical boundaries, by pushing your dog away with body language or by leading him to his core territory on the house leash. Your dog will learn what not to do and what to do instead. Body language is to your dog what words are to humans. Your dog's communication also includes room management in the house rules. Space is a resource for our dogs that needs to be managed by you as a human. Dogs react very sensitively to spatial boundaries. Your task is to allocate the resource space or, if necessary, to deny it. By constantly asking for the limit, your dog will quickly learn to understand and comply with it. You can read more about this in the blog post "Can my dog go on the sofa and bed?".

Take your taboo zones seriously. Only if you radiate the right attitude will your dog understand and accept your boundaries. If you don't create the right energetic and physical boundary, your dog may take your reaction as play.


Rule 3: Set up a rest room

In addition to the core territory, there is the possibility of building a relaxation room. A rest room is not a dog bed, kennel or even the core territory, but a whole room in which the dog should stay for several hours if necessary. The relaxation room can be used for management in stressful situations, for example when visitors come. In such situations, it is better for your dog to lead him to his rest room, where there is a dog bed and drinking water. This offers the dog the opportunity to move, to perceive the visit, but not to be overwhelmed by the attraction of the visit. The rest room serves as a management measure to de-stress your dog or to help visitors who are afraid of dogs. Management in dog training prevents dogs from making mistakes because you set ideal conditions through the external conditions. The management does not replace any training and must therefore be set up and practiced separately.  The relaxation room can be used if:

Rule 4: Divide feeding

Feeding your dog should be a ritual. no matter what you feed Food must not always be available in the feeding bowl. Always available dog food is one of the biggest mistakes in dog nutrition. Clear house rules define that you as a dog person allocate the dog food. Dog food that is always accessible can promote your dog's resource defense. Your dog will be under constant stress and will always be aware of who is near his food. Your dog's main focus will be on his food and his defenses. The defense of resources can lead to aggression towards other conspecifics in the house, children and you as a dog person. In addition to the resource problem, constantly available food can lead to obesity in the dog. Obesity leads to joint problems and other health restrictions. In dog training, it makes sense to motivate and lure with food. As soon as your dog always has food freely available, this possibility of precise reinforcement through food motivation is no longer available. Food can be an excellent, pinpoint reinforcement when learning new behavior. An adult dog should be fed twice a day. If your dog has stomach and digestion problems, it is advisable to feed the dog three times a day or to offer an afternoon snack. Regular feeding prevents excessive gastric acid production and with it abdominal pain. If there is any food left in the bowl, put the bowl away and offer the rest at the next feeding or in between. If your dog eats little or nothing for several days, you can contact a veterinarian to be on the safe side. The type of food can also be a reason why your dog refuses the food. Although dogs only have one-sixth as many taste buds as humans, food can taste more or less to them. This is because your dog takes in the flavors of the food through their nose. Before feeding, let your dog slow down by making eye contact or sitting down. Dogs are slingers, but you don't want your dog to pounce on the bowl as soon as you put it down. You can find out how to set up this training in Impulse control training for beginners. The keyword is impulse control. Your dog should not perform tricks in front of its food or other wild exercises. Before eating, your dog should simply take a moment back and wait for your approval. As a human being, you share the resources – including the food. Let your dog wait a moment and then release the food. If your dog is one of the impatient types without self-control, you can hold the food bowl with your hand until your dog takes a step back or glances at you. As your dog waits for you to release the food, he will practice impulse control. Once approved, let your dog eat in peace and at his own pace. 


You can download the checklist for the dog facility free of charge in the members area. Log in to your account or register for free.