Time Outs: Turn the Other Cheek

Similar to a “time out” that parents give to kids, a time out is exactly what it sounds like.

The dog is cut off from any inappropriate behavior he is doing while interacting with you. In order for the time out to be potent, it must be immediate. Simply ignoring the dog when it is safe and possible is very effective in many situations. Once the dog is doing what you want, reward him. For instance, the pup is nipping and biting at your hands. Fold your arms, stand up and walk away.

A time out can last 15 to 30 seconds. You will need to adjust the time depending on the infraction and the effect the time out has on your puppy.

You are telling the critter you do not like the ferocity at which he is playing, to be more gentle, chill out. You may need to do more than one time out. Your timing is very important. The dog must be timed out at the very moment he is breaking the rules in order for this to be an effective snub of the behavior.

Time outs also need to be practical. Standing up and walking away when a puppy is chewing on the dining room furniture is not going to work.

In the instance of a puppy who is playing too rough, simply placing the pup in his crate can be a good management tool to calm him down.

Young woman holding puppy in arms while young man holds on to his puppy in back garden, as an example of positive dog training.

Don’t Turn Your Back On Me!

That’s right, the old back turning trick: especially great for puppies who will not seem to quit jumping up on you and everyone they meet. What you are saying to the jumping puppy is, “I am not going to greet you or acknowledge you while you are flying around in the air.” As always, good timing is essential. Ideally, you turn your back on the puppy as he is attempting to jump on you. Be sure and reward the pup when you get the behavior that you want: not jumping, sitting, whatever the case may be.

Note: Jumping up to greet humans is natural dog behavior. We need to teach the dog an alternative, such as to sit when he meets people.

Twelve-week-old Retriever with her front paws up on the back of a young woman’s legs. Woman is turned away from dog
Turn your back to a puppy that jumps up.
Twelve-week-old Retriever sitting next to young woman who is facing her puppy