Step 4: Back to Play

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Release your dog after 10-30 seconds in time-out to try again. If they repeat offend, go back to Step 1. It is important to remember that it usually take more than 20 times for your dog to get “it.” Be patient and consistent. Go to Step 5 to see the Time-Out Flowchart and what the various phases might look like.

If you’ve done more than 20 time-outs and your dog doesn’t seem to be catching on, you can do longer/higher magnitude time-outs. However, for puppies, keep time-outs to less than 30 seconds and for all dogs, limit time-outs to between about 1 to 2 minutes. Beyond that, your dog will no longer remember why they were put there.

For offences like bullying at the dog park, a high magnitude time-out means removing your dog from the situation entirely. That means leashing them up, putting them in the car, and going home.