How to Give Your Dog a Time Out

An easy way to discourage your rowdy dog's bad behavior

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
1-minute read

Many attention-seeking behaviors can be reduced or eliminated if we strictly ignore them. But jumping and mouthing are unpleasant, painful, and sometimes dangerous, especially to people who are small and frail. So sometimes simply ignoring them won’t do.

Tip: Give your dog a 30-second time-out whenever he jumps on people or mouths them. At home, have him wear a short leash, maybe 2 feet long. Mark any mistake with an “Oops!” and lead him to a designated time-out area. This can be his crate, another room, or a prepared spot where he can be tethered. During the time-out, completely ignore your dog.

Instead of gaining social interaction, his obnoxious attention-seeking will get him briefly tossed from the party. The short leash makes it possible to lead your dog to his time-out spot without grabbing him, and also helps thwart his attempts at keep-away.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Want to raise a happy dog who loves to play and cuddle -- but still comes when called and doesn't chew up your favorite shoes?

Then check out The Dog Trainer’s Complete Guide to a Happy, Well-Behaved Pet!



About the Author

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Jolanta holds professional certifications in both training and behavior counseling and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also volunteered with Pet Help Partners, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works to prevent pet relinquishment. Her approach is generally behaviorist (Pavlovian, Skinnerian and post-Skinnerian learning theory) with a big helping of ethology (animal behavior as observed in non-experimental settings).