Thursday, March 7, 2013

DoggyStyle: On Dogs and Fluffy Rugs

Lately, we have been getting a lot of questions about the white fluffy rugs around our place. We picked up a couple of the Ikea Rens Sheepskin rugs that we like because they are fairly inexpensive and functional for the dogs while keeping our place from becoming overrun by too many dog beds.
Though everyone has been wondering how we keep the rugs white and keep our dogs from eating them. Here are some things that have worked for us.

Keeping our Dogs from Eating our Rugs
If you've been keeping up with our pups for awhile, you may remember the story of "Hans-Washington Mr. B". See, when we first adopted Mr. B he loved to chew, tear, and destroy. The first time we met him he was playing with a leather baseball mitt which he tore apart in 5 minutes flat.

At the same time, Mr. B is a very sensitive pup  and all he wants to do was please us.
He didn't know our rug was not a toy and it was inappropriate to tear off huge chunks. Though we did take that opportunity to make him a "toupee of shame", take a lot of photographs and call him Hans. The one time he went too far he became "Hans Washington Mr. B"

Then we did some real training things that worked for us.
We worked to teach Mr. B appropriate chewing. If he started becoming interested in the rug, we would act sad and disappointed and we would substitute the rug for an appropriate chew toy and act happy and excited when he would chew on that toy. 
We would also use Grannick's Bitter Apple Spray so he would associate the rug with a bad taste. It's harmless, and we would put some on the rug or on part of our hand and put it on his lips if he would start chewing again.
Our rug non-chewing training was actually our gateway to teach Mr. B not to destroy his stuffies (he has had some favorites he carries around and has owned for 4+ years!) We wrote more about it, here. 

Sliding, Rug Care and Keeping them White
We have rugs in our main living space and on both sides of our bed to keep our feet warm when we get up. E just found this really smart idea through Pinterest to use caulk on the undersides of rugs to keep them from slipping. This has made a world of difference getting them to stay in place. The only thing is if you need to move the rugs around, the strip might come off.
We also use preventative measures to keep the rugs white. We have a habit of wiping our pups feet whenever they come back inside, and we don't wear shoes in the house so the rugs don't get very dirty.
We vacuum the rugs, and I have put them in the washer and let them air dry. After being washed they come out with a tighter curl. They last for awhile, and when one of our dogs got sick on it we did just toss it and get a replacement.

Using the Rugs as Training Tools
The best part of these rugs is they seem to act as a type of 'Home Base' for the dogs. Even our foster dogs  and guests flock to the rugs. The dogs that come into our house seem to understand that this is one space to lay.
We would also use it for Miss M to practice stay-boundaries. We would practice down-stays and she knew she wouldn't be able to leave the rug. We were then able to bring little blankets and mats for us when we went to outdoor cafes so she would start to understand her boundaries and not try to walk around when we were eating.

What are some other ways you dog-proof or make your furniture work for your pooches?

PS. Unbelievably...Jack Frost is still looking for his very own home! It seems to be a slower adoption time, but if you know anyone in the Chicagoland area looking for a tiny guy, with a sad story, who just likes to chill, please pass his info along. We wrote more about him, here.

Also:
Using furniture for dog training
More preventative measures to keep cleaning easy
Dog-friendly rugs.

13 comments:

Debra@Peaceabull said...

I'm going to keep my eye out for some of those rugs, but first invest in a bottle of the bitter apple spray. Ray likes old comforters on the floor, but our family room is starting to look like a flop house.

Laura and Hans said...

Thank God my Hans doesn't wear a toupee and even if he did he couldn't look as cute as Hans Washington Mr.B!

ohmelvin.com said...

The photos where Mr. B has the 'toupee of shame' on and Miss. M is staring over his head just made me laugh so hard that I spit coffee out! Most awesome thing I've seen all morning!

livierules said...

I absolutely LOVE the photos of Mr. B!

Daisy Dog said...

Great post. I wish that I could take little Jack home. I fell in love with him the first minute I saw him. I think he would fit in so well with us here in California. I would hop on a plane in a minute to bring him home.

K-Koira said...

Nice. I'm sure my dogs would love a rug like that.

Alanna said...

My pooch has no interest in dog beds and I got tired of sharing my two seater couch with her. So I bought a second hand double papasan chair for $60 and made a cover for the pillow. It's the ultimate doggie nest. She loves it and I love that she doesn't get up on the other furniture any more.

Corbin said...

I've always admired your white rugs! We just have dog beds everywhere, but I hope one day when our house is finally all put together, we'll copy your idea!
-Corbin

kasia077 said...

I had no idea those rugs are washable! I've had two fosters pee on them and just tossed them each time.

Two Pitties in the City said...

@kasia077--We do the washing as a last resort as they do come out more curly than fluffy and the bottom is stiff...but it works!

Two French Bulldogs said...

The rugs are a great idea. Thank goodness we never chewed anything we weren't suppose to
Benny & Lily

Stephanie De Groot said...

Check even deze geweldige Stoel ridge rib

jayme reynolds said...

Thanks for the inspirational post. I've been browsing the internet for ideas of what to replace my old red rugs with. What color and style rugs would you suggest to go with beige walls?

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