Claim your spot! How spatial sensitivity affects a pushy Pup.

For today’s topic, here are a few questions to reflect on before reading the rest of the blog post:
  1. When entering your home or another building with your dog, who enters first? You or your Habibi Bear puppy? 
  2. Does your Habibi Bear puppy have free run and free rein in your home? 
  3. Is your Habibi Bear puppy allowed on your bed without you being present?

To the average person, these might look like simple questions about the life your puppy lives every day. But to an experienced pup wrangler and those in the know, these are all small indications that a power struggle or Puppy Showdown at High Noon could be coming up on the horizon during your Habibi Bear puppy’s adolescent phase (See “Adolescence: What happened to my Puppy? Aug 12). 

Why would who enters the home first make a difference? 
Answer #1 Remember that in the doggie world, everything is based on hierarchy and pack order. The Leader always goes first, the rest of the pack follows. To maintain a stable home foundation, you should be the first person to enter at all times. In fact, it is a wonderful and natural opportunity to practice puppy "place" and  “sits” and release commands before having puppy cross the home threshold. Puppy comes into your home space at your invitation and does so politely. 

Answer #2 is an extension of the first question in this regard: It is your home space, and you have kindly and generously brought your Habibi Bear puppy into your space. This means, especially while puppy is still learning, that there are No-Go Zones for puppy that they are never allowed to be, and you freely and wisely make use of baby gates, doggy play pens, and the best invention ever- the Doggie Condo - or dog crate. Puppies are spatial creatures and learners, and it really helps to take advantage of this and restrict their access while they are on their way to being a Habibi Bear Super Pup (or safely out of adolescence/ completely potty trained). 

Now, in the doggie world, just like in our world, there are all types of temperaments and personalities. There are some puppies who would never ever dream of jumping up on a couch, a chair or bed. Then there are those more exuberant and rambunctious fellows, who in their zest for life, will happily lay claim to every single area they see! They want to be king of the hill and top of the doggie pile. (Do you see where I’m going with this?) While we sincerely love all puppies, we need to keep in mind that some will need to have an attitude adjustment and some gentle guidance to help them be the very best they can be. Wanna know the best thing about this? Your puppy will love you even more for establishing firm boundaries and taking leadership of your family pack! Dogs respect hierarchy, it is innate and instinctual. 

So, for answer #3, we can see that allowing puppy on your bed is at best confusing (though probably thrilling) and at worst, a power grab move by puppy to challenge your authority and status as Leader, especially while you are not in the room. Unfortunately, once this precedent is set, it can become a habit which can have unwanted ripple effects throughout the home. We hear from members of the Habibi Bear tribe who have issues pop up, and in the course of questioning, we hear about dogs having the run of the house and sleeping on beds. Our response is almost always the same suggestion and solution: Re-establish your leadership, reinforce your bond, and go back to basics. If you want more in-depth and detailed information, check out our new and improved Pup Start program. We are so excited to be offering this support and education to our beloved Habibi Bear Tribe. We are always here for you, cheering you on! 

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