Please click on the tabs to go to a subject

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Time Outs

In the force free training community, Time Outs are considered an acceptable form of punishment.

We remove our attention for undesired behaviors (negative punishment).  Experts like Jean Donaldson and Ian Dunbar suggest times out for puppy nipping. But not just for nipping.  These behaviorists suggest that at first we allow puppies to bite.  And we implement time outs for only the hardest bites.  It's a way to teach "soft mouth"

But just like with any training process, time outs can be misused, overused or implemented incorrectly.

Time outs have to be consistent.
We can't allow hard bites when we are feeling playful and punish hard bites when we aren't in the mood.

Should be delivered without emotion
Don't wait until you are fed up or angry

Do not use on a dog who has separation anxiety
For these dogs, times outs can be very distressing positive punishment instead of the intended negative punishment

Do not use on a dog who is expressing pain, fear, or discomfort
We don't want to suppress their ability to communicate with us

It's best to remove ourselves instead of removing the dog
-The goal of time out is to remove our attention. If we have to handle the dog all the way to the time-out area, the pup is receiving plenty of attention.
-If we are practicing time outs for hard bites, we can play with our puppies in a safe area (such as an enclosed play pen).  When the pup bites too hard, we can calmly leave the play pen for a few seconds.
-When we leave the pup, we should make sure that there is nothing within reach that will get the puppy into trouble.

If we must remove the dog, be careful about grabbing collars.
This can be scary for some dogs - especially if we haven't acclimated them to collar grabs

It's not fair to set our dogs up for failure then punish them with a time out
- if we leave our shoes laying around, it's our fault if our dog chews them
- If we play too roughly with our pup or allow others to play to roughly, it's our fault if our pup gets over aroused and starts nipping

See more on this in Chapter 8 of Leslie McDevitt's Control Unleashed The Puppy Program

Excerpt from the chapter:
Time outs are punishment that get overused with our performance puppies. We need to look at when and why our puppies receive this punishment so we can readjust their training and prevent creating the situation that causes us to use time-outs in the first place

See more from the experts here:

See more on operant conditioning here (negative punishment, positive punishment, etc..):

Force Free - Training without pain, fear, startle, intimidation, pressure, discomfort...


No comments:

Post a Comment