So how’s the Crate Training Going? – Opie the Crate Savant – Part I


Previous Crating Blogs regarding Opie

I blogged about crating a while ago in the following posts:


Crating update


I thought I’d give you an update. First of all, to those starting to crate train you should know that it can be a slow process. All the literature says so, and they are NOT lying! Opie seems to be some sort of crate savant. He took to his crate immediately. He completely relaxes inside of his crate. We continued to treat whenever he was in his crate. Eventually, we started shutting the door for short periods of time — ten minutes, then 20 then 30. He never complained or whined, not once! Then guess what happened.
We got busy. We stopped actively training him about his crate. However, he continued to train himself. He can stay in his crate with the door shut without whining for about 1 hour. I say we stopped actively training because life got in our way. We put him in when we needed him in it, and he was just fine.

However, Opie’s crafty. He understood that the reason he was in the crate was because he was a DICKENS DAWG. Just see my page for him entitled “Stuff I’ve destroyed” and you’ll see that he comes by the moniker “DICKENS DAWG” honestly!

How is he crafty? Well, he curtailed much of his more rotten behavior, and therefore, earned the right to be crate free while we were gone out for movie and dinner. He stopped destroying stuff. He calmed down. (It doesn’t hurt that he’s got a million chew toys now!)

The obvious exception of course is the pumpkin pie incident. However, to be fair one of his parents was home at the time. You know who you are.

Nevertheless, he loves his crate. He hides his bully sticks and antlers under the pad. You’ll note that in the photos that the crate is located next to the couch in the family’s main hang out area. Opie likes to hang out in the crate, but also on the couch and perched in front of the front window to lay in wait for the mail carrier.

I was afraid that eventually he would jump on top of the crate and tear off his dew claw, so he now has a pad on top of the crate. He’s turned his crate into a townhome. My eldest son moved the crate to the window and now he’s got a view. He can harass the mail carrier from his second story pad and then hop down to the bottom floor for a nap or sun himself on top of the crate. He loves it. He carries toys up there and performs gravity experiments to his heart’s content.

How to get Opie to GO to Crate

On command


When told to “go to crate” Opie goes pretty easily. Initially, we used his natural curiosity. When he went in the crate on his own, he was praised and treated. He did this fairly often, and so he got treats fairly often. I don’t know about your sweetie pie, but our Opie is a total glutton for chicken jerky. Pretty soon, it was easy as pie.
Of course we mixed it up a bit. Sometimes he’d just get praise and no treat. Essentially, we used the same technique most people use to get their dog to sit or stay – treats and praise —  Always praise and sometimes treat. This whole process takes a lot of patience and love. It will be slow. Opie is some sort of crate savant and the speed and ease that he took to the crate was totally NOT in the literature.


Here’s a little film of Opie showing his “Mad” crating skills

as well as showing off

His new Penthouse.





Have a great day!


Stay tuned for Part II –

Just a few More Crating Tips for Newbies



Opie’s Mom


About Opie and Opie's Mom

Snorkie with attitude. My mom writes about me and sometimes she lets me write something too. I was rescued July 11, 2010! I am so happy! I love my family and I hate squirrels. I don't know any cats but the neighborhood cats are fun to bark at. Read Opie's Mom's Blog to find out more about me. View all posts by Opie and Opie's Mom

5 responses to “So how’s the Crate Training Going? – Opie the Crate Savant – Part I

  • Helen

    I have heard horror stories on crate training, so I think you got it easy with Opie. Spike and Dru came crate trained as puppies and from the day we got them we have continued with the crate. This is their home where they sleep. We tell them “time for bed” and they go upstairs, with very few interruptions, and get in their crate for bed.

  • Opie and Opie's Mom

    Oh we knew when he tried to get in before we could get it up that he was going to like the crate. All my friends who crated viewed it as an indoor dog house with a door. I hadn’t heard the horror stories, but my imagine was pretty good. Opie demonstrated a unique contentment with the crate. I have no doubt that it’s a different story for others. He naps in his crate or on top of his crate during the day, but he sleeps with us. Don’t tell him this, but he’s a little guy and doesn’t take up much room at all. 🙂

  • According to Gus

    Glad Opie is doing so well with crate training. Gus loves his. It’s his own little nesting area.

    Keep up the good work, Opie!

  • sagechronicles

    Sage does “ok” with the crate. She’ll go in it when we go somewhere, but it’s not something she seeks out. We worked on her from day 1, but she wants to be with us. She tells us she “will be good”, and we leave her uncrated for small periods when we are gone. Since we both are retired, one of us is generally home.

    Also, fortunately, she hasn’t been destructive, so it hasn’t been an issue. Opie, on the other hand, has done magnificent! Our Maggie was like Opie–it was her “safe place”.

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