Why Crate Train Your Dog?
How to Crate Train Your Dog: The Weekend Plan continued...
Prepare Supplies for Saturday and Sunday
Over the next couple of days, you’ll reward your dog often for going into
her crate. It’s a good idea to prepare some treats in advance. Cut some
chicken, cheese, hot dogs, soft dog treats or freeze-dried liver into
bite-sized pieces and set them aside for later use. You can also stuff two or
three KONGs, which you’ll give your dog when you start to increase the length
of time she stays in her crate.
Saturday Morning: Let the Crate Fun Begin!
You’re ready to get started. Gather the treats you prepared and take your
dog to the crate.
Step One: Follow the Treat
You can do the following exercises sitting on the floor or in a chair right
next to the crate.
- Give a cue to ask your dog to go into the crate, such as “Go to bed.”
(Choose whatever cue you like, just be sure you always use the same one.)
- Show your dog one of the treats and toss it in the crate. After she goes
inside to eat it, praise her enthusiastically and feed her another treat while
she’s still inside.
- Say “Okay” to let your dog know she can come out again. You don’t need to
reward her when she comes out of the crate. She needs to learn that all good
things happen when she’s inside the crate.
Repeat the steps above 10 times. Take a short break (just a few minutes),
and then do another set of 10 repetitions. After your second set, end the
Step Two: Earn the Treat
Later on in the morning, collect some treats and bring your dog to the crate
for more training. Now that she’s practiced following a treat into the crate,
try asking her to go in before rewarding her with the treat.
- To warm up, do a couple of repetitions just like you did before-throwing
the treat into the crate so that your dog follows it. Then you can change the
rules a little.
- Give your cue, “Go to bed,” and point to the crate instead of throwing a
treat into it. (When you point, it might help to move your arm like you did
when tossing a treat into the crate. The familiar motion can remind your dog
what she’s supposed to do.)
- When your dog goes in, praise her and immediately give her a couple of
treats while she’s still in the crate.
- Say “Okay” and let your dog come out of the crate.
Do 10 repetitions and then take a short break. Repeat the exercise another
10 times-or until your dog seems to know the game and enters and exits readily
when you ask her to.