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Hi there,

Our new dog Mayzie has come out of her shell with a vengeance! As background, she's about 2 years old and spent most of her life at the end of a rope in a backyard. She definitely seems like she still has a lot of "puppy" in her and is making up for lost time.

Tonite she was just out of control. I wasn't able to take the dogs for the long walk they usually get because of snow. So when we got back from our short walk, she was NOT tired out in the least. She ran around in the backyard and then came in and disemboweled every dog toy we have. Then she chased her tail. So I took her upstairs and we did some obedience. But she was still really wound up. So I tried to ignore her in an attempt to settle down, and she GROWLED at me. Not an agressive growl. It was more like "hey, I'm not finished playing. PLAY with me!"

So I very calmly walked her to her crate, threw a few treats in and shut the door behind her. I also fed her in her crate. Altogether, she was in there maybe 15 minutes or so. She is much more calm now.

I know people say that it shouldn't be used as punishment. But is it okay to use it as a timeout when a dog gets too crazy? She really loves her crate and I made sure that good things happened while she was in there.

So what do you think?
 

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Crating for a cool down period is fine. Time-outs are not the same as a cooling down period though. A time-out is a behavioral modification method to change a dogs behavior...to create a whole set of new behaviors. The usual time-out period (total social isolation with no human interaction) is 3 days. Severe cases may go as long as 7 days. There are a couple of shorter time-outs for specific issues. These should not be attempted without the guidance of a qualified behaviorist.
 

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I know people say that it shouldn't be used as punishment. But is it okay to use it as a timeout when a dog gets too crazy? She really loves her crate and I made sure that good things happened while she was in there.

So what do you think?

I do the same thing with my shepherd mix. My husky would have a royal fit if I did that... but it works for my shepherd mix. very well. No idea if you're "supposed" to.. but it works to calm him down, and like you, I make it positive, and it only lasts a few minutes.
 

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Well there's no real such thing as a positive time-out unless its a cool down. So it doesn't sound like punishment.
 

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I'll admit I use the crate as punishment, but of course not SOLEY as punishment. I also did not until Sadie was completely crate trained by which I mean she never cries to get out and she goes in on command from anywhere in the house.

Earlier today she managed to get ahold of a clump of cat litter and brought it under my desk. As soon as I saw what she had, I said Drop It, Kennel and she flew out of the room, down the hall, back around the kitchen and into her crate.

Yet she still likes it, and when she's sleepy and it's dark out, she goes in it for bed time without me telling her. Sometimes she even goes in and if I don't see right away she barks for me to come close the door. :)

I also only have to do this very rarely, never more than once every few weeks. I only do it for times when I need to remove her from the room like when she gets too barky at the cats, or when I'm so mad she can tell and she goes in on her own.

It works for us. If the dog is not already crate trained I would say NO WAY.
 

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I tend to use my crates for a cool down period with 3 dogs plus fosters it really gets hectic at times and instead of me loosing my cool(does not happen often and takes alot)I just put them in their crates until they are calm and so am i.
 
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