Tag Archives: Crate

What’s the big deal? It’s my bully stick – why can’t I bury it in the couch?

Hi All,

Opie here!

Mama’s annoyed because she found my bully stick in the couch. I don’t know why she should be annoyed. After all, it’s my bully stick and she found my super secret hiding place.

Daddy bought me a Bully Stick for Mothers Day? Evidently, this was to make up for the fact that the only thing left over from the MD Lunch was spaghetti and meat sauce and for some unknown reason I’m not allowed to have a taste of that. It smells heavenly, by the way!

Any-who, I got a brand new bully stick.


I chewed on it a while, but then I decided to hide it.

First, I walked all around the house looking for a good place to stash it. My brothers went running ahead of me and closed a bunch of doors. I have no idea why. Their room is full of nooks and crannies and a perfect place to hide stuff. I wonder if Michael is still made about that Lego model of his I chewed up. Hmmmm.

I tried to hide it in the laundry basket with the clean clothes. Gregory pulled it right out and gave it back to me. Then the basket ended up on a top of the washing machine.

I tried to hide it in Mama’s new shoes. Obviously, that didn’t work.

I tried to hide in a corner of the living room, but I couldn’t seem to dig up the hard wood floor.

Finally, the perfect spot — Right between Mama and Daddy on the couch! I “dug” into the couch bottom and nosed my prize into the back of the couch. Then I pushed the pillow back over the top of it.

Mama came right back to the couch after bringing Daddy a bag of popcorn and sat right on it. I

I suppose I should have expected that.

Now I have to find a new place to hide it.

I don’t know why Mama is pointing to my crate. My crate?


Gotta go!

Later Fur Friends!

Your Pal,



Update Part II — Just A few More Crate Training Tips

The Rest of the Crate Training Blog — Part II

For those that are seriously contemplating crate training. Part II of my crate training update might be useful. So this is just a quick little post with a few crating tips.

Just a few Crating Tips — Things we’ve discovered and would like to share

  • Do NOT use the Crate as a punishment. If Opie’s misbehaved, and we ALL need a time out, we ask him to sit. (He’s pretty much on the Dean’s list with the Sit command!) We praise him for sitting on command and THEN we ask him to go to crate. Then we praise and maybe treat for that. We use sit to distract him from his naughtiness. Once distracted then he can go to his little house.

  • Be regular with praise even if you aren’t regular about treating when rewarding for following any command. Opie does a lot for love and baby talk (and the occasional nose kiss.)


  • We try not to make a huge deal out of letting Opie out of the crate. (Remember it’s not jail. It’s his special sanctuary.) So leave the door open all the time. (The only exception is when I need to brush him. He tries to escape me in there so I close the door so I can be sure and finish getting the snarls out of his very silky and “mattable” hair.


  • We still occasionally treat him in the crate. (Need a supply of healthy treats for your pooch. We like chicken jerky and our friend Gus from According to Gus loves liver.) The treats should be his/her absolute favorite and not given that often. People call them “high value” treats.


  • We leave him alone in his crate. (No belly rubs through the bars or nose tickles.) He’s on his own in there. He can chew his antler or sleep. It’s his pad!


    • He retreated to his crate after the pumpkin pie incident. He was hiding from us in the crate since he knew he done a naughty thing. Crating himself was a good thing. So no scolding while in the crate — It’s his sanctuary. (Not sure scolding works at all really)


  • Opie never whined in his crate, but if he had our plan was to ignore it until he stopped and THEN let him out. We didn’t want him to get the idea that whining worked. I think we missed the whining issue because 1) He likes his crate, and 2) We put him in for short periods of time only, for a long time.

  • Opie likes to keep a few toys in the crate, but we don’t let him keep more than two in there at a time. Toys are good in there, but not too many.


  • We just discovered that Opie goes to create well for ME only. So here’s the tip. Anyone in the family who needs to be able to make him Go to Crate needs to work on it with him. So the boys will be working with Opie for a few minutes after school EVERY DAY until Opie goes to crate for them as well as he goes for me and his Dad.


  • Where to put the crate in the first place? The internet if full of great advice about crate training, but the best advice I got was from the pamphlet that came with our crate. It contains pretty much everything you need. Some people place their crates away from everyone so that the dog can have a truly private place. This is the opposite of the advice we got from our crate pamphlet. The pamphlet suggested that the crate be placed near the family, but still in semi private place, like a corner of the family room. I can’t help but think that Opie’s crate contentment stems from the fact that he’s not in the laundry room, or near the garage door. His crate is in a heretofore unused dusty corner of our family area. He’s got some privacy, but he’s also still with us 99.9 percent of the time. Consider carefully where you place your crate.


Well, that’s all I can think of for now. People will probably have their own tips and suggestions and I am by no means any sort of dog training expert. There are great training videos on the internet and I know for a fact that some of my blogger buddies are pros at all sorts of dog training stuff. The purpose of this series was to show people what a non dog trainer can do. My personal belief is that if you give good love and boundaries to your “furrever” friend, the relationship will be easier and more satisfying for everyone concerned.

Have a great day!

Opie’s mom

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