If you have ever owned a dog that desperately tries to gain your attention just when you sit down to relax, or when you pick up the phone to call a friend, this article is for you. It is possible to teach your dog that he needs to keep himself occupied for awhile and not rely on your interaction. One of these training techniques is described below.
Giving a visual cue to teach your dog – Time Out.
Follow the step below for a nice quiet hour to yourself to unwind from a busy day:
1. Pick an object that will be used when it is time for “quiet and relaxation.” It is suggested you use a towel (which will be used in this article) or any good sized item that can be easily hung on the doorknob.
2. When you hang the towel over the knob, say a verbal cue such as “Quiet Time,” give your dog something to play with that will keep him occupied, such as a toy filled with treats or peanut butter, a puzzle toy or a chew toy and direct him to his bed or a rug that is in the same room as you.
3. Once your dog is situated, sit yourself down and prop your legs up.
4. While training your dog, you want to end your rest time right before your dog is done with his treat. This is so you do not need to correct him for getting up and initiating play time with you. As soon as you see your dog is almost done, get up to remove the towel from the doorknob and give him another verbal command such as “Play Time” and have your dog see you remove the towel.
5. Remove his toy and put it with the towel for the next “Time Out.”
6. Repeat this as often as necessary with the same towel and toy/treats so your dog looks forward to “Time Out” as much as you do.
7. Keep your “Time Out” training short in the beginning, until your dog understands what is needed to succeed at this new command. Also, make sure you spend some quality time with your canine friend when you get home prior to asking him to participate in “Time Out” willingly. He is going to find it very difficult to leave you alone if you have just walked in the door from being gone 8 hours. Throw the ball a couple of times, give his coat a good brushing and then start your training.
Remember, repetition and consistency is the most important thing for your dog to learn new commands. You want this to be as easy on your dog as it is for you. And most importantly, you will both be able to appreciate “Time Out” together.