Tag Archives: crate training

Annyong happy on couch

Proof Our Program Works!

 

Practicing down/stay with meat on the floor.

So here is my 90 day update on my new dog, Annyong. Proof our program works. He has been on “probation” for 90 days in my house. He gets walked, socialized & trained every day. A little affection of course, but no excitement or freedom. He’s been out of the crate more & more as time goes on, always on a drop leash. Now we are starting to trust him off leash. We still have to work him through his cat issue, but he is SO much better than even a month ago. The other day he ran into the house & went chasing the cat & I called him (no leash, no e-collar) & he came! I was very proud! He will still be on probation for many months I imagine as he learns how to behave in the house. And learning he has to listen to me when I say his name. The more he listens/obeys/behaves, the longer he is out of the crate.

a well-behaved dog has EARNED the PRIVILEGE of couch time!

I think most dog owners fail their dog by first not having high enough standards for their dogs. They start off giving the dog too much freedom & then try to (partially) reign him in when trouble ensues (which it always does). They think of the crate as a punishment tool & therefore use it reluctantly. They think of leashes & collars are only for when outside. The more we use these tools (crate, leash, e-collar) IN the home, the more conditioned our dogs are to listening/obeying us. The better behaved they are inside the  more likely are to behave outside.

snuggles on the couch

I’d like the APO (average pet owner) to start with the end in mind. What do you want from your dog? And WHY do you want it? I want my dog to listen to me 99% of the time I say his name or give him a command. I want my dog to not pester my older dog. I want my dog not to chase my cat. I want my dog not to pick up items & guard them. All these things are unacceptable to me. And because they are unacceptable I will not allow them. The big picture of having a well behaved dog is what you allow & what you disallow. I use these tools to teach him manners so he will be safe & not embarrass me. (he still embarrasses me often in public! but better than before & we are working on that!).

Practicing down/stay while I’m doing dishes

A new question I ask dog owners in my class is “how confident are you your dog would listen to you if he was running into traffic & you called him?” I’m 99% confident Ziva will listen to me even charging after a cat/skunk/motorcycle- it’s happened & I have a lot of faith she will obey. I practice often with her. Annyong is NO WHERE NEAR THIS YET. But it is my goal. And he will get there someday soon. 🙂

Managing your crazy dog around company

Start by waiting to feed your dog just before company comes. He will be more interested in food if he is hungry. Before company arrives, start dropping kibble into the crate & then have company come in. (He should start off in crate or on leash). I prefer a crate.

As my dog started to light up I dropped his kibble into his crate as a distraction. “Here think about this instead.” After a few minutes he was pretty calm. I continued to stand there dropping kibble, his whole meal.

After he was very chill I opened the crate to let him go out & greet my mother. (He had not met her yet). Normally I would recommend leashing a dog for this but I was being lazy!  You can imagine if you wait until your dog is totally chill to let him greet company how much better mannered they will be. Any bad manners (jumping, barking) will be milder & more subdued. Of course if your dog is aggressive at all you shouldn’t go this alone. To find a trainer in your area visit the International Association of Canine Professionals to find a competent trainer in your area.

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Annyong in crate during superbowl

Dealing with Company and your dog during the Super Bowl 2

Annyong in crate during superbowl

Annyong in crate during superbowl

People ask me all the time what to do when company comes over. That seems to be a big challenge for most dog owners. Either their dog wants to charge to jump, lick & pester or, to see what they taste like!

My new dog Annyong is more toward the latter. He probably would have been fine, but since I didn’t have the time or attention to focus on him 100%, I kept him in the crate for safety reasons. This is what I would recommend unless you are able to focus on his behavior. Why risk it?

So what I did was (video below):

I started with a dog comfortable in his crate, in a relaxed mood.

Next, as company comes in to watch The Superbowl, I drop his supper-kibble by kibble- into his crate to give him something else to think about. By using his meal I can give him hundreds of “rewards” or distractions without worrying about him overeating. I also don’t have to worry about him not being hungry & more interested in focusing on “intruders!”.

My sister, also a dog trainer assists me by giving some kibble to get him thinking about that rather than all the commotion. As time goes by, his outburst get fewer & fewer. Each time I give him some more of his meal, sprinkled in with some treats for good measure. If I was able to do this on a weekly basis he would be much more settled with company. My girl, Ziva barked a little when the family arrived but quieted down almost immediately.

Annyong in crate during superbowl

Dealing with Company and your dog during the Super Bowl

People ask me all the time what to do when company comes over. That seems to be a big challenge for most dog owners. Either their dog wants to charge to jump, lick & pester or, to see what they taste like! My new dog Annyong is more toward the latter. He probably would have been fine, but since I didn’t have the time or attention to focus on him 100%, I kept him in the crate for safety reasons. This is what I would recommend unless you are able to focus on his behavior. Why risk it?

So what I did was (video below):

Started with a dog comfortable in his crate, in a relaxed mood.

Next, as company comes in to watch The Superbowl, I drop his supper-kibble by kibble- into his crate to give him something else to think about. By using his meal I can give him hundreds of “rewards” or distractions without worrying about him overeating. I also don’t have to worry about him not being hungry & more interested in focusing on “intruders!”.

My sister, also a dog trainer assists me by giving some kibble to get him thinking about that rather than all the commotion. As time goes by, his outburst get fewer & fewer. Each time I give him some more of his meal, sprinkled in with some treats for good measure. If I was able to do this on a weekly basis he would be much more settled with company. My girl, Ziva barked a little when the family arrived but quieted down almost immediately.

 

Should I crate train my puppy?

Should I crate train my puppy? by Michelle Gillis of Doggie Fun & Fitness

I hear this all the time…

“I feel bad leaving him in there”

“It’s so mean!”

“I wouldn’t want to be in a cage”

“I want him to sleep in bed with me”

There are so many good reasons to crate train your puppy.  Before I start listing reasons, try to shift to your dog’s perspective.

Human Perspective: a crate seems like a jail cell meaning punishment

Canine Perspective: a crate is a safe place to sleep

Crates are a safe place for a dog to hang without being bothered.  For families with young kids, it’s necessary.  Who wants to take a nap with an unpredictable toddler on the loose?

My dog Annyong loves chilling in his crate. He goes in with the door open, however it’s important you close the door too so it’s on your terms not his.

These are the reasons to crate train…

Housebreaking

Housebreaking problems usually start as a few accidents.  This can turn into a habit that can last through adulthood. If those accidents were not cleaned up properly, we are now blurring the inside/outside the house line. We have to teach a puppy that the smell of urine belongs outside.  This is where the crate comes in…

Puppies like to pee/poop away from where they hang.  The crate is a small version of your house.  Your teaching him “you don’t poop where you hang”.  When he gets older, he will see the house as his crate and never have an accident.

I recommend Natures Miracle for clean up

Safety

Puppies are curious which can lead to mischief.

  • Chewing through live wires
  • Chewing and choking on objects
  • Eating/swallowing dangerous objects (corn on the cob swallowed whole.. $5000 vet bill)
  • Eating/chewing poisonous items (ant traps, odor eaters, anti-freeze)

Separation Anxiety

Crating for small amounts of time at a young age teaches your pup to tolerate being alone.  If your pup is constantly with someone, they will panic when left alone.

Anyone who has a dog with separation anxiety will tell you how awful it is.

Your life will revolve around managing it and it takes a lot of work and help from others to fix.

Signs of separation anxiety

  • Dog will follow you room to room
  • Whining/barking when out of view (excessively)
  • Watches you constantly

When left alone…

  • Scratched trim in doorways, damage to windows
  • Puddles of drool
  • Frantic panting, wild wide eyes, pupils dilated
  • Persistent barking until hoarse

NOT signs of separation anxiety

  • Chewing furniture, shoes, toys
  • Sleeping when you come home/ or excited/happy to see you

Grooming, Vacations, Emergency Vet Visits, etc.

At some point in in your dog’s life he will have to be put in a crate.  Grooming, boarding, vet stays, can be stressful enough, adding crate stress can make things challenging.

“When can we stop using the crate?”

I think 1-½ years old is a reasonable goal but every dog/situation is different.  Some high-energy dogs need it for much longer.  I recommend using it for many years if you spend a lot of time with your dog, mostly to prevent separation anxiety.

So…. crates are good!

Lets stop applying our human perspective and start looking at things through the canine perspective.  We earn our dogs respect that way

Crates should always be used in a positive way, never used for punishment.  Seek a professional trainers advice before forcing a nervous/fearful dog.