How long should I put my puppy in timeout? Find Out Here

Use time-outs to teach your pet that the fun ends when her undesired behavior begins.

For example, if a puppy is nipping me, I will remove myself from the room every time she bites. This is called negative punishment.

Negative punishment entails the removal of something the dog wants (you) in order to stop the nipping. If you do use this strategy, it is important that you always follow through by rewarding the desired behavior with toys, treats or attention.

Examples of desired behaviors include things like having four paws on the floor or chewing her toy instead of your fingers.

How Long Should Dog Time-Outs Last?

Ideally, time-outs should be short and only last as long as it takes your pooch to calm down. Usually, 30 seconds or so is long enough.

However, if you are using the time-out to prevent escalating arousal levels, and you’ve given her a puzzle toy or chew item, you can leave her in the time-out for longer periods of time.

These types of time-outs still shouldn’t be unnecessarily long – they should end before her Kong, puzzle toy or chew runs out of tasty filling or loses her interest. Usually, 5 to 7 minutes is the most you’d want to leave your pup in time out for.

Just be sure that you don’t leave her in the time-out for long periods of time without offering her some form of stimulation. This will cause her to become bored, and it may even cause her to suffer from stress or anxiety.

A More Effective Dog Time Out

Let’s think of time outs from a human perspective. What if your boss said “time out” and walked out of the room immediately after reading your latest report? What does it mean? Did he not like the report or was it something you did? What could you do differently?

“Time out,” and its equivalent “no,” are easy to say, but don’t really tell you what to do instead. When teaching your dog consequences, ignoring your dog for a few seconds is considered a “time out.” Ignoring a jumping dog until she chooses to do the right behavior (e.g. “sit”) is pretty darn effective. Rewarding your dog for good behavior is lost if you leave the room or put her in a crate. You’re missing out on a learning opportunity.

Why, when and how should I put my dog in timeout?