Establishing rules, boundaries and parameters sets the tone for what is expected within any relationship (regardless of species) and any household. Without clarity in expectation and consistent, “standard operating” rules, lines will always be skewed, expectations amiss, disappointment and resentment abound, and buttons and envelopes constantly tested and pushed.
Creating and enforcing this kind of structure isn’t “mean”, “bad” or “cruel”, it’s necessary; and is enforced out of respect for ourselves, our dog(s) and all those sharing our space.
When we practice consistency, clarity, and fairness in our direction and communication, we create healthy boundaries; and in return, quality of life improves.
What we don’t address, we give permission to continue to occur. Being clear with what makes us feel comfortable and uncomfortable will help everyone to get on the same page.