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Old 01-06-2013, 11:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Using pens as "time out"

I know that it's not a good idea to put a dog in his crate as punishment but what about a play pen? Our little girl is usually very mellow for a pup her age but occasionally she gets over excited. She still wants to mouth my two kids (which they handle very well). But they are not at all tolerant of the puppy jumping on them. At 16 weeks she's strong enough to push them over when she jumps. The kids get SO upset, especially because she pulls on their clothes after they're knocked over. Even though its all in play its hard for them to understand. They're never left unsupervised together, but Im not always in arms reach when they're in the same room.
So is it ok to confine her to the pen as punishment? Or is it better for her to learn from their natural reaction of being hurt/upset because she pushed them over?
Maybe my pup just has too much house freedom?
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Is puppy taking training classes yet? Always start at the start..puppy classes. That should provide help with your issue.

In answer to your question, yes an x-pen should be fine. Make sure she is getting plenty of exercise and playtime with an adult. Have fun!
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've used crates for timeouts as long as I've been using crates - about 12 years! I've never had it affect how my dogs feel about their crates. At 4 and 7 years old Keefer and Halo will both sometimes take naps in their crates, and always go in at bedtime without having to be told. I don't think of it as "punishment", and apparently they didn't either.

Sometimes puppies need a little break, and humans who have puppies do too!
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Some dogs do fine using their crate that way, but I agree it's safer to use a different area for time outs. An exercise pen is just fine for that. The only reason you don't want to use the crate is the risk of "poisoning" it--your dog beginning to see it as a bad place she has to go, rather than a safe sleeping spot. That isn't usually a worry with a pen.

I think you absolutely should remove her from the situation when she gets overexcited and plays too roughly with your children. Relying on their upset reaction to teach her not to be rough isn't fair to your kids, and it may not teach the dog anyway. After all, some puppies are bullies and don't mind it when their playmates aren't having as much fun as they are! However, if you consistently remove her from the room and give her a time out as soon as she gets too rowdy, she'll learn that playing nice lets her stay in the room while jumping and mouthing means playtime is over. I've found it to be a very effective way to teach manners.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Never thought of using a pen for time outs... I used her crate for time outs and Kono doesnt think its bad. I keep the crate door open at night and she seems to go in without a problem sometimes she will even get of my bed and go lay in there But I would guess you could use a pen as long as you pup knows that they are being punished for what they did.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks, we'll keep using the pen then. We started puppy kindergarten tonight and the trainer was super helpful. So hopefully this wont be an issue much longer.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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She can still see you in the pen. I have always put them behind a closed door for about ten seconds, which is plenty long for a pup, just not long enough to get into trouble behind closed doors. it has worked very well.
The punishment should be time out (of sight). Good luck with your pup.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
She can still see you in the pen. I have always put them behind a closed door for about ten seconds, which is plenty long for a pup, just not long enough to get into trouble behind closed doors. it has worked very well.
The punishment should be time out (of sight). Good luck with your pup.
Just want to say I agree with this. I was envisioning a situation where the pen is in a different room and is just used to keep her out of trouble while she's in time out. Neither the pen nor the crate will work well if it's located in the middle of the action still.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've used a pen. It's important to me that my dogs learn to be restrained to a certain area and me not have to tip-toe around. I don't really do "time outs" as a punishment, but with a little puppy I use a pen quite a bit and the puppy can still see and hear everything and has to learn to deal with it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I've used crates for timeouts as long as I've been using crates - about 12 years! I've never had it affect how my dogs feel about their crates.

I'm glad you said this - I put Ruki in his crate occasionally when he is being especially stinkerish. His trainer told me go ahead and do it so I can take a break and so he can calm down. She said some dogs get even more hyped up after a time out, but as long as Ruki calms down go ahead and use the crate.
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