How to Create an Off Limits Room
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Puppies Are Wonderful Sidekicks Training and Behavior Modification

How to Create an Off Limits Room

Do you have a room in your house that you just don't want your dog to go into? At my house it's the laundry room. I keep the litter box in there, along with all the cat food (indoor and outdoor cat food). Just things I don't want to worry about my dogs getting into. There's no need for them to be in there, so I taught them that room is off limits.
It's a very simple process...consistency is the key.
  • You start with 3-5 strips of nylon, (preferably in a bright color; the color is for you not your sidekick), and velcro.
  • Depending on the height of your dog, you would space 3-5 strips of nylon webbing across your door frame.
  • Space the strips about 1-2 inches apart.
  • Use the Velcro to attach the nylon to the door frame.
  • Leave the strips up for a period of 2 weeks to 2 months, depending on the age of your dog. Every 2-6 weeks remove another nylon strip.
  • If your dog tests the boundary and goes in the off limits room, tell them "no" or "uh-oh", and remove them from the room calmly. Put the strip back up on the door frame, and leave there for another 2-6 weeks.
  • If you're dog isn't stopped by the nylon strips, add a X-Mat in the door frame.
The purpose of the nylon is to create a barrier for the dog, but not stop them from being able to see into the room.  By keeping the door closed all the time, it's not allowing the dog to make the choice to stay out when they have the opportunity to go through.  The taller the dog, the more nylon strips you would use and the higher they would go on the door frame.  The nylons strips should be as tall, or slightly taller than, your dog.  If you're doing this with a puppy, the nylon strips should be spaced as high on the door frame as they puppy will get.  For tall breeds, such as a Great Dane, you would space the nylon strips out a little more (3-4 inches apart) and possibly add a 6th strip. 
As your dog becomes more comfortable with the nylon strips, remove one of the strips.  If your dog tries to go into the room after taking the strip down, then you moved too fast.  Put the strip back up for about 3-4 weeks, and then try again.  By the time you get to the last strip regardless of how tall your dog is, they should be able to at least hop over the strip.  The purpose of this last strip isn't to prevent them from going into the off limits room, but just to remind them to stop.
If you click on the items, it will take you to an Amazon page.  Please don't feel obligated to buy from Amazon, I just wanted to show you what I was talking about.  This should cost less than $30 per door frame for the nylon and velcro, and you should be able to get an X-Mat for less than $15 each. 

1 Comment to How to Create an Off Limits Room:

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Alyssa on Sunday, October 30, 2011 9:44 PM
Thanks so much Amber! I'm going to try to get these items this week and begin working with Piper. Hopefully she'll pick it up as fast as everything else. :)
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