Time outs?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Taqroy, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Soooo....I may have been doing a bad thing. :eek: I've been using Mu's kennel as a time out place. Not like grabbing her by the throat and throwing her into it yelling and screaming, but if she's being a butt I'll tell her to kennel and leave her there for 10 seconds. Then I release. If she does it again she stays in for 30 seconds. If she does after being released the second time (this has never happened) she would go in and stay until I want to let her out again. I usually use this when she's resource guarding me, or if she finds someone that's a bigger wimp than her and decides to be a bully. I've been using it this way for 5 months now (on and off, definitely not every day though) and she will willingly go in there every time. I never yell or act like she's in trouble, it's more so just to break the flow of whatever she happens to be doing before it escalates.

    My question is this: Will this eventually make her kennel into a "bad" place? Also, when she is guarding me she gets a bit growly and snarky. If I interrupt that and send her away do you think she'll make the association and stop growling and start biting? Honestly it seems to work REALLY well and I'd rather not stop doing it, but if I'm going to screw something up or trigger her biting another dog I'll stop doing it.

    I was thinking about this the other day and realized the potential consequences of it. :eek:
     
  2. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    A lot of people are really against using the kennel for a time-out, but I'm not, in specific circumstances.

    If she is willingly and happily going into the kennel, it's not really a punishment. It's a "you need to relax" tool. If she's growling at the other dogs, they're bothering her. The crate is where a dog goes to be alone and escape from things that bother them.

    I would definitely focus more on getting her to see other dogs approaching you as a good thing, though. I'd give her minimal attention around the other dogs except for when they get closer to you, and reward her for letting the other dogs come very close, etc. So you won't have to send her to "time-out" as much and worry if that's damaging :)
     
  3. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Thanks! We've been working a lot on the other dogs thing. It's gotten a lot better. It really only happened a couple times when we first started fostering. Now she's realized that most additions (except Tipper) are temporary and she doesn't get as protective. The problem I run into with rewarding her when other dogs are close is that if I have food inevitably the other dog wants some too and then it's almost a given she's going to protect the food, which defeats the whole purpose. It works like a charm when she's on leash, but off leash we're still working on.
     
  4. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    I think as long as you're only interrupting the growl with a command (go to your crate) and not punishing the growl itself you should be fine, though hopefully someone more experienced will come in and say.

    It'd be kind of like if you told her to sit in the middle of a growl.

    Also, as long as you don't keep doing whatever is bothering her after she growls. Because then she sees it isn't working. If she happily goes to her crate to relax, then that's probably cool because she removed herself from the resource and isn't stressed by it any more. Do you ever come by and give her a biscuit or something after she's in the crate in a "Time Out"

    We used to crate Charlie in time outs when he wouldn't stop barking. It was the only way to make him stop, because he'd get himself so wound up barking at a neighbor, or cat, or flying ducks, or the wind. . .It got to where he'd bark furiously for a few minutes, I'd call "Charlie be quiet!" and he'd run to his crate and lay down, wagging his little stump the whole way.
     
  5. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    Imho, I do not send resource guarders away. It manages the situation but it doesn't solve the behavioral issue. She has to go to her crate, the other dog stays out and gets attention, and that can exacerbate the feelings of jealousy. I agree that crating her is a good idea if you don't feel that you can completely control a situation and keep her under threshold, but I would avoid doing it when she has already escalated. (I would avoid allowing her to escalate period)

    Fozzie is naturally VERY guardy (is it a short dog thing?), so I make sure that every time the other dog (in this case it's the foster puppy) comes up, he gets a click and a jackpot. He doesn't need to do anything, and I do it before he has the chance to even react. I also work on hand feeding each of them from each hand, sitting side by side, and giving them chews together side by side. You have to get the timing right and prevent either from stealing, but it's very effective with Fozz. As long as I make the other dog's presence super rewarding, he's comfortable with them. I also let him know that I control resources, attention, and who is getting it. I don't let the puppy butt in when I'm petting or training with Fozz, and vice versa.

    How close can the other dog get to her before she reacts? Are you able to hand feed other dogs a few feet away from her without setting her off? I would try this, and make sure to quickly break them off afterwards and walk away on a positive note. If she begins getting tense (preferably before she starts growling), simply walk away. Let her know that guarding you is not an option.
     
  6. Paul Bright

    Paul Bright New Member

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    as long as it does not seem like a "punishment" -- you're not shouting or anything -- then it should be fine.
     
  7. smeagle

    smeagle New Member

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    I use Daisy's crate as a time out at training. I'm not making it a bad place to be, she is still comfortable in there and sits in there happily but it's just a way of showing her that certain behaviours will end the game.
     
  8. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Yeah I usually salt the kennel with treats so that if her or Tipper get sent there it's rewarding for them. I talked to my trainer about this too and she basically said the same as you, as long as I'm not acting like it's a punishment and she's rewarded for going in her crate it's fine.

    I started feeding Tipper and Mu by hand together last night, it worked great! I'm also working on giving Mu a treat and then the other dog in our training class a treat when they're being good and she's doing pretty good with that.

    Her threshold with dogs she doesn't know really seems to vary. If it's me that the other dog is coming up to it's almost impossible to click her for being nice because she just won't be. But if the trainer has the treats Mu behaves herself much better so I'm guessing it's a combo food guard and me guarding. The trainer in our obedience class actually specializes in reactive dogs so she's been really helpful in working through this.

    Thanks for the advice guys, I'm going to continue working on her associating other dogs with good things and just separate if I think she's going to get bitchy.
     
  9. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    A tip someone gave me is to try and be boring except when the other dogs around. Which is hard if you're working around strange dogs and not dogs that you spend a lot of time with...I guess it might be a lot easier to do in the home.

    But the idea is you pretty much ignore the dog, limit toys and attention, etc. until the other dogs are around, and then you give the dog a lot of praise and affection, so they associate other dogs being around with them getting more of what they want from you.
     

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