On Day 4 we closed the door, and we’ve been building up the time that he spends in the crate. We are up to about 30 minutes in the crate. I should mention that we continue to treat randomly and repeat the “Go to Crate” command. He’s doing really well with that.
Today, we tried something a little new. Since I’m his number one love monkey we decided that if he could get used to me disappearing for a time while he was in the crate then we’d really be cooking with gas! The training material talks about leaving the house for short periods of time and gradually building up to the time we really want him to be happy in his little home. So, we started that a tiny bit today.
I disappeared into the back part of the house for about 5 minutes. There was one small keen and then he settled down. I think this was harder on the other members of the family than Opie. Nobody likes to hear Opie cry. Only a hard-hearted Mama like myself can tough this sort of thing out.
Yeah, who am I kidding. I’m just lucky he let out one little whine.
When I came back in the room after 5 minutes he was asleep — Thank God! He stayed in the crate a total of 25 minutes that time.
When I opened the door, he acted just like he does when I return from an errand. He wiggled, tried to jump into my arms, etc. I may have put my foot in it. I had started to praise him while I was opening the door. I had no idea he was going to be so happy to see me. I didn’t go anywhere really. All the material says we are supposed to be very blase about the whole thing. “Oh, you’re out of your crate. No biggy.” I wasn’t as nonchalant as the material said I should be. Obviously, I ‘ll have to do some remediation on this.
In any case we tried it again later in the day, but errands and family circumstances kept us from training in earnest. Over the next few days, now that Opie’s Dad is recovering from his flu, we will put a little more intensity into this stage. I’ve had a sick husband and child at home over the past couple of days. Once they are all back to their normal tasks Opie and I can “Git R Done” regarding this stage of crate training.
He still goes to the crate as his little place. His commands are getting better and better. I am optimistic despite this slowing down of our work. As you can see, he’s very comfortable with his crate. To close the door though sometimes I have to tuck him all the way into it.
Once again, if anyone has any comments or suggestions regarding our training. I am all eyes and ears! Feel free to comment and give us some feedback.
Have a great day everyone!