Crate Training a Puppy

My 8 month old Akita gets crated only when we go to work in the morning. Some days I find him out and about (he squeezed himself out of a very large heavy duty crate), other days he's in the crate calm and quiet, and other days he is in the crate, but very hyper. How do I get him to love being crated. Toys are destroyed and treats have been eaten.

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By Mary from York, PA

Answers:

Crate Training a Puppy

I have a favorite site I go to, it is called leerburg.com. Check this link: leerburg.com

This link discusses crate training and other things related to housetraining. See his free podcasts, articles, and e books. Put crate training in the search bar of this site, also.

He is great, Ed Frawley trains German Shepherds, but has tons of podcasts and free articles on just this situation. Look at the free ebooks, too.

I would get a clicker at Petsmart, about 2 dollars, and then get a couple of hot dogs and cut them into little tiny pieces, the size of a green pea or a little larger, just so the dog can eat it within a second or two. When you throw one into the crate, a piece of hot dog, not the animal and the dog follows and eats, at the time he goes into the crate, click and reward with a piece of hot dog, again thrown into the crate. Get him to come out again by praising him and calling him. Once he is outside the crate, throw another piece into the crate and click when he walks into the crate. Throw another piece of hot dog. Keep repeating this, it is a game, no one can really make any mistakes, if he is not able to get it, put the hot dogs in the fridge and make a later play date for it.

This could be repeated however many times the dog is happy to eat a piece of the hot dog. The pieces have to be small so the dog can snarf it up in a second. After a while, the dog will try to figure out how to get the piece of hot dog. If the dog doesn't do what you want, don't scold, just don't click or reward. You might have to lure him into the crate a few times with the food, even after he learns that clicking means rewarding.

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I would also put treats in his sight, into the crate and then walk away. He will start associating his wire crate, which is the best kind, with good things. I would buy treats, raw hides, those Kong things you can stuff with peanut butter and wash after they are through playing with it, and put them in the crate one at a time every so often. Most of the time if you put a Kong in the crate with him when you have to leave, it is a good thing.

They will usually act "snotty" about it at first. There is nothing wrong with their showing their opinion about something, unless your neighbors are complaining.

Good luck! Don't be gone too long and leave him alone in the crate for too long or he will resist going in at all. These training tips should help.

This is an excellent bonding exercise and it is fun for both you and your dog and there is no negative to it at all. To the dog it is just plain fun. Blessings. (03/25/2010)

By Robyn Fed

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