I was at a new Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® client in Miami Gardens last week installing an invisible dog fence system for his Old English Sheepdog, Harry. Harry liked to meander around the neighborhood and my client loved his view of the lake and the rest of the neighborhood. Our invisible dog fence was the perfect solution for my client and Harry. I installed the dog fence and trained Harry that staying home was far more enjoyable than wandering the neighborhood. The results were great and my client was thrilled that his life was far easier than it was just a day earlier. As I was finishing up, we got into a discussion regarding my behavioral dog training. That sparked a question from my client. My client always wanted Harry to sleep in his crate, but is was always a fight to get him to go into the crate. He was wondering if I had any “behavioral dog training suggestions”.
Our experience over the years has shown that some dogs just love to go into their crates and some are just not “crate dogs”. Although we may do all the right things with the crate in order to make it a happy place, some dogs just don’t want to be there.
When we run into a roadblock trying to make our dog’s crate a wonderful and happy place in order to get him to go inside, we need to look at another solution. Before we move on to this, we must understand that we need to continue to keep the crate a wonderful place for our dog. We need to continue to do things such as:
- Keep the crate in a centralized location so that entering it is not a sign of banishment.
- Play with our dog around the crate to build a feeling of bonding for that area.
- Place food and toys in the crate so that our dog will stick his nose in to get them. He may even get to the point of sitting down to eat the food or play with the toy in the crate.
- Never “throw him in the crate” when we are mad.
So we are doing all these great things and it is still a pain to get him to go in the crate for bed time. Well, we are going to play a little trick on Harry to get him in. Some people might call this the “bum’s rush”. The goal is to get him focused on other things as we are moving him around and, before he knows it, he is in the crate. Here is what we do.
- Get Harry on a leash and walk him around the house. Repeat this and slowly pick up the pace every day you are practicing this.
- Now, start to take your “walking path” closer and closer to the open door of the crate. Walk him directly towards the crate, but turn away before you get too close.
- Repeat the above steps, but don’t turn away from the front door of the crate as early as you did before.
- Finally, don’t turn away at all. Keep walking Harry directly into the crate at a quick pace. You may need to hold the leash with very little slack so that you can “easily aim” for the crate’s door.
- Once inside, praise Harry and then let him out after a minute or two. You are doing this so that he is not associating his entry into the crate as a long term deal.
- Repeat the above steps, sometimes going into the crate and sometimes not going into the crate until you feel no or little resistance as Harry is entering the crate. Start to extend Harry’s time in the crate before you let him out.
- Also, make sure that you are doing this at all times of the day so that Harry is not associating his entrance into the crate with a particular time (nighty-night time).
It will take a week or so to be completely successful with this exercise. This time is needed to establish the repetition of non-consistent actions regarding the crate, it’s entrance, and the time of day for Harry. In essence, you have “fooled him”.
Sometimes a little tomfoolery is just fine in training our dogs. Feel free to contact us for any dog training or dog fence questions by clicking Dog Fence Training Help Miami Gardens South Florida. You can call us through our direct phone at (954) 472-4724. Find out about Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® and dog training by visiting Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers Miami Gardens South Florida. It has been great to be your South Florida canine professionals for over twelve years in Miami Gardens and across South Florida. Our methods are wonderful in keeping your dog safe and confined. Robin and I have educated nearly 4,000 dogs to be happy and wonderful pets. Learn more about our Dog Obedience and Behavior Training by visiting Home Dog Training Miami Gardens South Florida.