Leo the Gatekeeper
In my office, I have a baby gate that keeps Leo safe inside all day and prevents him from bothering my coworkers. When Leo was younger, I had a smaller gate. After he knocked it over a few times and got out, I got a taller and sturdier one for my peace of mind.
Lately, I’ve been trying to train Leo to stay in my office with the gate open, but only when the office is empty. Our doggy office neighbor, Penny, does not have a gate and doesn’t leave her office unless she’s following her dad around. She’s such a good girl! Unfortunately, if Leo had the freedom Penny does, he would take every opportunity to take a stroll (more like rampage) around the office.
When trying to train Leo to stay in my office, I’ll walk in, leave the gate open, and go about my normal tasks at my desk. At first, Leo doesn’t actually notice the gate is open, but once he does, he will start to inch towards freedom, all while taking frequent peeks at me to see I’m watching. If I see his paw going over the threshold, I’ll call his name in my “disappointed mom” tone and he immediately takes a step back and gives me the sad puppy dog eyes. If I’m distracted by work long enough for him to get two paws outside of the threshold, he immediately takes the opportunity to run over to Penny’s office to play with her toys (don’t tell Penny!)
He was getting pretty good at staying in the office, I even tried leaving the office and telling him to stay. He did stay, but only for about 30 seconds. Next time I’ll try for 15 seconds and work my way up. We’ve got a long way to go to be like Penny, but we’re getting there.