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A different approach to crate-training?

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There's been a lot of mention of crate-training needs and techniques (and aversions) here recently. Here's something I saw this morning that might be a useful approach to crate-training for some dogs. It is from Sarah Wilson and she says,

Heres a crate training trick I learned many years ago and use often: The Lock Out.


The Lock Out uses the make your idea their idea then let them do it philosophy that works so very well. Heres how you play: Take something your dog really likesa favorite toy, chewie, treat or his mealand lock that in the crate while shutting your dog out.


Our goal? For your dog to sit outside the crate wanting in. Yearning to be in. Trying to figure out how to get in. After a minute or so, you simply open the door and let him do what he wants. Your dog then goes in with a happy yea, I get to go into the crate attitude.


If your dog is crate cautious, set the item right by the crate door so he can reach in and get it without entering the crate. As that becomes easy, start to move the temptation farther back. Doing this sort of slow progression can help him gain confidence.


Also, if your dog is crate cautious then be sure the crate isnt going to slip or rattle when he enters it. Putting an old towel or nonskid rug under it can keep it from shifting.


I hope this simple crate training trick helps teach your dog to crate happily and quickly.


Now you know.

Here is the link to the website and article.



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I didn't do this as a training technique per se, but I effectively did do something like this with our oldest, Sammie.


We didn't know much of anything when we adopted him and we got a crate and just put him in it. He hated it and ended up tearing up something that was right next to the crate when we left him in it. From there we decided that he didn't like it and we didn't use it anymore. (We really, really didn't know anything at that point!)


When we got Speedy we did the exact same thing, but he didn't mind the crate. We used to put plushy squeaky toys in with him. Sammie started to eye those toys!! He would wait until we opened the door for Speedy to let him out and he would rush in to steal the toy!! Of course, Sammie being Sammie, when he got one, he would tear it up!


Before long, he started going in there whenever we went to put Speedy in there! He wanted to intercept that squeaky and he started to view the crate as an awesome place to be!


Never had trouble with him with crating again. He hasn't been crated much, but on the rare occasions when I have needed him in a crate, he goes in willingly and is happy in there. That association was strong enough to last a lifetime, apparently.

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