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How To Teach Your Dog To Respect Space In Your Home


Invisible Line Game

The goal of this exercise is to teach the dog to understand the rules and roles regarding environmental space. By playing this game, dogs learn that space is accessed with permission and that this permission is granted by a trusted human. The end result is a dog that “asks” permission to enter/exit spaces within the home respect people and visitors who are moving throughout the space.

Making the Game more Difficult Using the 3 D’s (Distance, Distraction, Duration)

  • Start with DISTANCE. Take one step backwards away from the base position, opening up the space for temptation
  • If dog remains sitting/asking for permission, step back towards the dog and deliver food reward directly to the mouth ~ OR ~ If dog moves in an attempt to cross invisible line, reinforce the position with body blocking until dog returns to sit/asking for permission (do not reward with food in this scenario)
  • Return to relaxed base position at invisible line and begin again.
  • Continue to play the game by slowly increasing the difficulty of the task. Using distance, distraction and duration.
  • Don’t go too far on the difficulty scale to fast, set your dog up for clear understanding and success.
  • Repeat each “step” successfully multiple times before moving up the scale of difficulty
  • Each time you play the game, start at the bottom of the difficulty scale and work your way up.
  • Play the Game OFTEN, with variable amount of time spent at this game, in as many locations as possible.
  • Each household member should play the game, and eventually when your dog is ready visitors to the home should play as well (if you feel they can follow your instructions correctly).

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Written by Marshall Morris
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