You clean up after yourself. No sugary cereals. No shredding napkins and leaving them all over the floor. No stealing other people’s—or dogs—food or toys.
And no pooping in the living room.
That one is really important. No peeing in the living room either.
Dogs sleep on the floor. They rest on the floor. They play on the floor. Oh we do hold them of course, what good is a puppy if you can’t cuddle it?
I even bought a couple of camp chairs, so that we could comfortably sit on the floor and play with them. But absolutely no dogs allowed on the human furniture.
At my house that rule is right up there with no pooping in the house.
No one is allergic and the dogs don’t shed much.
But we discovered, though gentle Way of the Dog, help that dogs really do behave better if they are treated like dogs and not pampered royalty. Molly’s barking issue hugely improved when Ariel finally got up the gumption to banish her from the bed.
My puppies have never lounged on the furniture, so they don’t know that’s even possible. Sure, it would be nice once in a while to cuddle a warm puppy in the covers, but like inviting your toddler into bed, one time and it would be all over.
But you know how Grandmas always buys the forbidden sugar cereals?
Mama feeds her dogs from the table and she likes them up on the couch.
With examples like that, soon enough my puppies were curling up on friendly laps. The first time or two I made them get down, but then I figured they are smart enough to understand that once we’re home, home rules apply.
Some rules, though, are universal.
Absolutely no pooping in the living room.
No matter where you are.