Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Crate Training Your Dog

Some dogs take to crate training easily.  

You show them their crate, they seem to think, 'My very own club house, hooray!' and your problems are over.

Other dogs are not so sure about being left in a crate.  They are nervous about being left alone, suspicious of confinement, and noisy.  For these dogs, slow and steady will help your dog learn that a crate is not a dangerous place.

The size of your crate.  A dog should be able to comfortably stand up, turn around and lay down in his or her crate.  If you are working on house training then the crate should not be larger than this.

Crate training your nervous or barking dog - Slow and Steady is the Way to Go!

1.    Start with the crate door open, drop small treats (cheerios are fine) into it, let him get them and leave.  Don't make a fuss, just drop in a cheerio and walk away.  When you're dog walks by 45 minutes later you want him to think, "Wow, this thing grows Cheerios!"

2.    If you are standing close by as he enters the crate say YES in a happy voice and drop another small treat into the crate, do not close the door yet.

3.    If he elects to stay in the crate, drop several cheerios through the top at intervals of about 5 to 10 second. 

Now it is time to begin to close the door ~ Don't Rush this step

4.    When he is resting in the crate comfortably and voluntarily, give him something very special, a stuffed kong, a bully stick, etc. close the door, and stay in the room.  (have a book or computer ready to occupy your time)

5.    When he is good at this start brief absences.  Begin with a really short one, go to the kitchen for a drink of water.  Gradually extend the absences.  After you can move about your home without him crying go outside for a few moments and return BEFORE he has a chance to get frantic.  Gradually extend these absences.

6.  When you return from an absence ignore him.   Don't rush into the room and give him attention.  Let him sit in his crate.  Start with one minute of ignoring him, then go to a minute and a half, then two minutes, etc.  Until you have worked it up to 10 minutes (just busy yourself with that book, computer, smartphone, etc.).

6.    Do not pay any attention to him if he barks, whines, etc.  Only a quiet dog is let out of a crate.  Be firm on this point or you will teach him to demand bark.