Previous Crating Blogs regarding Opie
I blogged about crating a while ago in the following posts:
- To Crate or Not to Crate, that is the question
- Getting back on my feed? Revving up for Crate training
- Opie’s First Day of Crate Training
- Opie’s Second Day of Crate Training
- Opie’s 4th Day of Crate Training
- Opie’s Sixth Day of Crate Training — Mama Disappeared.
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
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