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|12-06-2009, 08:46 PM||#1|
YT 500 Club Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Aspen, CO, US
Crate training -- Am I doing this right?
I've heard a lot of things about crate training. I've heard to just throw him in there and let him cry it out (tried this for two nights, but it was very difficult to get him into the crate in the first place). I've also heard to give him a chance to go in on his own.
So, I started over with the top off his crate and threw treats in there, praising him when he went in. Then I put the top on and fed him treats through the holes in the crate saying "inside." No treat unless he takes it from inside the crate. I just put the door back on and I'm hoping I can get him to take a treat with the door on. (Should I change "inside" to "crate"?)
When do I close the door and how do I handle the treats at this point? Or, do I just lure him in there, close the door and let him cry it out at this point? At least I can get him in there on his own now.
|12-09-2009, 10:36 PM||#2|
Join Date: Nov 2008
Sounds to me like you're doing a good job, taking it slow, helping him to associate the crate with happy things like treats. Here's a couple other things you could try that helped us when we crate trained:
1. Have a crate that he can see you from... when waking up from a nap or drifting in and out of sleep, he likes to know he's with his pack and not alone.
2. Try (at least at first) to only crate him when you know he's tired and ready for sleep. Go for a long walk, or have a long session of fetch/tug-o-war. Then hopefully he'll stop whining quicker and decide to nap.
3. You will likely have to let him 'cry it out' sometimes. Do your best to time things intelligently so that you never open the door when he's whining, or else he'll think that the whining is what made you let him out. For example, if you're ready to let him out and there's a pause in his whining, take a few steps toward his crate and give him a little praise. If he starts whining again, turn your back until he pauses again, then praise and walk closer again. I don't know if this would work with every dog, but it worked pretty well with our Nikko.
Good luck... I think crate training is wonderful. We now just leave Nikko's crate open in the living room all the time, and it's his favorite place for naps during the day. And in the evening when he's laying on the couch watching TV with us and decides we're moving around and annoying him too much, he gets up to go lay down in peace in his crate. LOL! Make sure you have a nice comfy pillow or blanket in there for him to lay on. In the beginning, we even used to put whatever tshirt we wore that day in there for him too, so that he could smell us.
Lauren & Nikko