View Full Version : Dog in the studio?

12-09-2017, 07:47 PM
These questions are for the current and former dog owners in the forum. How can I keep puppies in my studio while I work with pastels? My family is contemplating buying a couple of Cavapoo puppies, 2 months old. I work from home in a large, tiled studio. Id like to keep the puppies around me while I work. I wear gloves so, if I need to touch the dogs, I can take them off. But would they be a big distraction? Is it unsafe to have them around the pastel dust? Have any of you successfully cordoned off the puppies in your studio space? Leashed? The answers to these questions may determine whether we get the puppies in the first place!!

12-09-2017, 08:14 PM
Dogs are a studio essential!
My studio is only about 8 x 10, and I've had a 85 pound lab mutt and our oversized 125 pound yellow lab sleep there when I'm working. Wall to wall labrador carpeting. I think a puppy would be distracting and may chew on things they shouldnt, But puppies grow up and become the best of studio buddies. Our yellow lab passed, but I'm hoping our new, slightly smaller yellow lab will join me when he gets a little less wiggly. I keep them out of the dust and away from toxic stuff. Mine always just napped while I worked.

12-09-2017, 11:33 PM
Kennels, play pen, it could be done but it'll be a lot of work. Puppies are trainable though. With work you may have good well behaved studio dogs. It's just going to take a lot of work.

I have studio cats. I've never had a work area separate from where I live so there was always at least one cat around to get into stuff. It was important to keep the pastel boxes or trays closed except when actually working, so the cats wouldn't actually lay on the pastels. Other than that not too much trouble. Keeping it orderly's important.

But puppies won't necessarily get on table tops and shelves the way cats do. Currently I paint with a six month old kitten eeling past my supplies to jump on the bookcase from my desk. Sometimes using my lap as part of the stair case, sometimes not, sometimes coming down in a tumble of stuff. Make sure all pastel boxes and trays are secure and can't be flipped over and that tables etc. are sturdy enough puppies can't knock them over.

Might help choosing colors and keeping them in a small dish - and that well out of their way on a sturdy table.

12-09-2017, 11:50 PM
I would have no issues with puppies in studio. Just make sure everything is up high enough they cant climb up on and eat or chew up (like pastels or paper). If something falls on floor while painting, be quick to get it before the pups :) I would feel bad leashing or containing puppies or dogs in the house if I were home.

12-10-2017, 09:15 AM
I always took my dogs for a walk before trying to work. They would settle in for a nap when we got back and sleeping became the thing to do in the studio even without the walk. I haven't tried painting with the new pup yet but my older dog was very active when he was younger and settled into this schedule pretty quickly. I'm a big believer that exercise is almost as important as training. The first few months seem to establish the norm for puppies, being consistent then pays off over the years.

Cats in the studio would open up all 3 dimensions to mischief.

a playpen until they are older and trustworthy is a good idea.

12-10-2017, 11:00 AM
I would definitely devise some sort of barrier - it could be something as simple as pieces of foam board taped together into a "playpen" area or a large "baby gate" to make sure the puppies are not able to get to the area below your easel. If you drop a pastel or a bit of pastel breaks off - or even an accumulation of dust develops, those puppies will have it in their mouth before you can react.

Since artists often have pieces of cardboard, foam board, mat board or other inexpensive barrier solutions, this should be easy to accomplish. The barriers also work great to keep the puppies in a smaller area when you leave the house, work as barriers if you have areas where there are exposed electric wires, blocking stairways, etc.

Of course, it does depend on how large your puppies are or how big they get as adults! You may need bigger barriers for bigger dogs

Here are some of my foam board barriers just randomly set up in the living room:



12-13-2017, 11:48 AM
Don, that is awesome. Love the puppy playpen idea. Keeps the dog out of so many things the way you have it set up. Would not work for cats, they'd be right over the bed in no time - but dogs, even puppies, can learn fast not to get on a bed or not to get on chairs or countertops.

Cats do think in 3D. Always. My desk is a major cat crossroads leading up to the feeding area on top of the tall bookcase. I need to keep a certain area of the shelf at the back of the desk and the top of the desk itself clear or cats will clear it for me in transit. They drop stuff into the wastebasket. So I usually also have to check my wastebasket to see if Kindle or pens or brushes or whole sketchbooks have been kicked off, if I forgot to clear the Cat Path well enough.

12-13-2017, 11:21 PM
Actually, I just set up those boards to take the picture. A dog would be on the bed and out in a flash! But they could be set up to surround the easel so that the dog can have access to the entire room, but can't get to the easel and immediately surrounding area. If the easel is in the corner of a room, even better as you would need less boards.


12-14-2017, 01:58 PM
Right! Yeah, set up the play pen around the art supplies and let the dog have the rest of the room to play. Or snooze in a dog bed.

Once I get my cottage I'm definitely getting my Sissy a good cat tree. Something with hammocks and holes into nooks and things she can claw on, dangles, something solid. And a couple of nice cat beds to put here and there, though she seems quite fond of my bed recently. She's actually good about going over the desk. She's started to get the "studio cat" mindset - instead of just knocking my stuff off, she stops and taps my arm with her paw, meows and asks me to move my things out of her way. Then she scampers up.

Of course it's specific to Sissy that she puts her hand up like a well behaved school girl when she meows. She'll raise her hand to get attention. It's adorable, a sweet little mannerism. I think I'm in love again.

She's actually better about posing than Ari. Sketching him took stealth, if he noticed he'd move. Sissy likes to pose and thinks much of her looks. Get out the camera and she'll look at me and start being cute.

12-16-2017, 12:33 PM
The one thing I would be wary about is any pastel dust that falls on the floor may get on their paws, and paws get licked clean on a regular basis.


12-16-2017, 12:48 PM
Yeah, they do. I have to worry about that with studio cats, especially when they are likely to roll in it. But back when I had the easel up and working I also had a kind of tray set up to catch it, so that helped.

05-08-2018, 03:05 AM
Having a little barrier as someone else posted above would be a good idea just to make sure they can't smudge paintings or eat pastel sticks or paper, but I can't see any reason why they can't come into the studio. Ideally they should be allowed in the room but just not in the immediate vicinity of the easel/workspace.

Our old boy Rex used to help me whenever I had my drawing or painting stuff laid out on the floor (during semester when I have a lot of uni work, I often don't have room for art supplies on my desk).


Sadly he went off to doggy heaven in January last year, but this weekend we brought home our new little puppy. I'm sure once he's grown up he will be well up to the task of being my new 'art studio supervisor'.


05-09-2018, 01:36 PM
Dogs are a studio essential!

Totally agree! I've got two dog beds in my very small studio. I am careful to tape off excess pastel (and never blow!), or bang the painting over a BIG bin, so dust doesn't go on the outside. I have knocked a whole tray onto the floor (ugh), but luckily the dogs didn't get into the stuff. They ran for cover :lol:

05-09-2018, 01:40 PM

Sadly he went off to doggy heaven in January last year, but this weekend we brought home our new little puppy. I'm sure once he's grown up he will be well up to the task of being my new 'art studio supervisor'.


I'm so sorry for the loss of your Rex. What a handsome boy!

The puppy is absolutely precious! He also looks like he's up to the task of being the new Art Studio Supervisor!


05-10-2018, 01:29 PM
what a beautiful baby. I have a feeling that your beloved Rex picked him out especially for you..:)