There are a total of 7 Chapters to this post, this is 5 of 7
Success Starts At Home (Tool: Time Out)
Sometimes the simplest things are the most powerful and it is so true of this dog
training technique that I am about to share with you now. It is such a simple tool
and we all have it already set up in our homes ready to use, however very few people
actually use it properly. Let me describe the situation where it can be used so
Your dog jumps up on your new couch. You shout very calmly “FIDO OFF” to
which Fido obeys. However a few seconds later he is back up on the couch staring
straight at you. “FIDO OFF” you reply in your now rather stressed voice. Somehow
you know that it is not working, however there seems to be very few alternatives.
Over the course of the next few minutes Fido succeeds in winding you up like a
grandfather clock resulting in you shouting your head of at him and chasing him all
over the room. Sound familiar?
Well the great news is that it doesn’t have to be that way and here’s why. One of the
biggest reasons that dogs do not change their behavior is that we are actually training
them to continue the old patterns. Let me explain. Fido very likely did not actually
want to sleep on the couch as much as he wanted some attention. And our technique
of shouting at him, getting frustrated and chasing Fido around the room gave him all
the attention he could have wished for and more!
Now when you become the pack leader your dog or puppy is going to be far more
respectful of you. Put very simply they are not going to jump all over the couch
knowing that you do not want them up there. However when your dog thinks that
they should be running the show you will run into more areas of contention than you
could possible would wish for.
So what is our alternative option for dealing with our dog when they jump up on the
couch? Here is the solution. The first time they jump up, take them very calmly and
place them on the floor without a word being spoken. If they jump up again you take
them by the collar and put them in Time Out. Close the door on them and walk
away. When they are quiet you can let them out, but make sure you ignore them.
It’s as simple as that.
A couple of points to cover of some questions you may face.
Firstly, if you are concerned that you can’t catch your dog because they are too fast
then carry on reading. In the next chapter I shall explain how to ensure that your dog
no longer has the upper hand on you in the speed department!
Secondly. Your time out room needs to be safe for your dog and secure. Usually a
bathroom or toilet works well as they have few windows and are quite small.
Remember when your dog is in Time Out they are not supposed to be having fun, so
sometimes outside in the garden is not the best option.
Thirdly. If your dog is barking you really want to wait until they stop before letting
them out. If they are quiet then a couple of minutes is usually long enough first time
round for them to think twice about doing it again.
The beauty of time out is that you no longer have to enter the cycle of becoming
stressed, shouting and frustrated. Let’s face it, nobody enjoys shouting at their dog.
In fact shouting your dog’s name when they have done something wrong can quickly
ruin your chances of them coming to you when you call them at the park.
Time Out can be used effectively for so many training issues as I demonstrate in my
videos. It is simply a better choice of deterring unwanted behaviors than physically
becoming aggressive to your dog or shouting.
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