Introducing A Puppy To A Crate

Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

Introducing A Puppy To A Crate



0:31 Announcer: helping you get the most from your hunting dogs.

0:40 Puppies, they're so cute.

0:47-1:20 (sound of dog moving in crate)(whining)(squealing)

1:22 As I was saying, puppies, they're so cute...until they're not. (whining) Let's talk about crate training. (whining) What's the matter little guy? You don't like it in there?

1:36 Here we are crate training. A few minutes ago you saw a pup that was real unhappy about being in a crate. We saw a temper tantrum. We saw whining and crying. And now we see a puppy that's laying down and sleeping...quivering a little bit, with a little anxiety probably but nicely asleep.

So why do we crate train in the first place? Well, we like to think this crate becomes the puppy's safe haven. It's sort of like their bedroom. If I'm not feeling well, I want to be at home. I specifically want to be in my bedroom and in bed. And this is what the crate becomes.

It's a safe, protective area for our puppy. It keeps him safe from his environment which could be items in our household that he could get into when we're not watching him all the time. It can be his place to go to not be bothered by anybody. It can be a great area to feed them where other dogs can't get their food. It can also help to focus them to eat and very importantly it certainly helps to address the housebreaking issue. And then lastly, two of my favorite items for crate training involve sending them into the crate on command, having them stay in the crate even with an open door and being released from the crate on command.

2:51 So there's many different reasons why we crate train: for safety of the puppy, to give them a place to go and be away possibly from people, a place to eat in here, a place to go in on command, stay on command and come out on command. So there's your reasons why we crate train, a very, very important aspect for the early development of our puppy and it ultimately teaches them patience and acceptance to confinement quietly.

You see now a very different puppy than you saw a few minutes ago.

3:32 So how do we get an unwilling puppy into a crate? Well, here's one way. I'm stronger than him. I'll just push him right in there. And I'll push him in again. But if I do that, then truly who does all the work? I do and I'm not really teaching him to go into the crate on command or use kennel on command. And even if I open the door, he comes barreling out and I'm pushing him in again.

I would prefer to teach him on his own effort, to make his own effort to go in the kennel on command. So there's two methods I may use. I don't often use food for training but when it comes to a little puppy, who can be very motivated by food, food can be a great way. He wants his food, food in the crate, kennel, huh ho, no effort on my part. So food, a great way to teach them to go in the crate on command.

4:36 So food worked pretty well. But, there often comes a time where food doesn't work anymore. And I do like to ultimately teach them the command, kennel. So the other method that I'll use is with a simpler slip lead that I just put on him, like the letter P, P for puppy, slip lead around their neck. I'm going to be very gentle because this is only a nine week old puppy. But what I'm going to do is cause some minor pressure or annoyance when he's out of the crate. And then the instant release of pressure or that annoyance when he's in the crate.

So here comes that mild pressure or annoyance. I tap his butt. I pull at his head. He goes in. And the pressure stops. And we'll do this a couple times because he wants to barrel right out. So here's a little bit of leash pressure. Here's a little bit of tapping.

5:28 And they fight you a lot. And I don't want this fighting to ultimately occur when he's a 60 pound dog. So we're going to work him through it. He gets a little discomfort, a little pressure, a little tapping and then the release of pressure.  So I like to say maybe I did 50 percent of the work and he did 50 percent of the work. And with patience, persistence and repetition, he will want to avoid this pressure and simply step into the crate on his own and that's what I'm looking for.

While I'm doing this mild annoyance, mild pressure, I like to command him once or twice the word, kennel so he knows what I'm asking him to do. So ultimately if I say kennel, he'll have the opportunity to avoid this pressure and comply with the command. Let's do it once or twice more. (whimpering)

6:10 He wants to barrel right out. We're going to form some pressure. Kennel. So I'm just tapping, using patience, persistence, repetition. There he goes, made an effort. Good boy. There. And when he's in there, it becomes a little safe zone, release of pressure. So I'm not using the food. And I'm not doing all the work. I'm doing maybe 50 percent and asking him to do 50 percent. And ultimately he'll do 100 percent on his own. And that's what we're looking for with the kennel command.

Good boy.

6:44 Kennel. Good. Well, that was our best one yet. We've practiced about ten times of the kennel command. And he's going in here. He's actually relaxing in the crate. So we're going to continue to practice a little bit more and I'll explain.

Again, I'm looking for myself to do 50 percent of the work and him to give me a 50 percent effort, not me to just 100 percent physically push him in there. So instead of me dragging or pushing, I like to use a little tug, tug, tug on the leash, a tap tap tap and I have a much more willing pup. Once he's in there, and he's staying in there a little bit more nicely, we've definitely made some accomplishments right now.

Kennel. Good.

7:28 Conversely, I will also work on the here command. Jack, here. Good. So we've got two tasks that we're working on. Kennel command with mild pressure that he can avoid if he complies. He's fighting. He's fighting. There, started to comply. I'll let him fight a little more. And it takes persistence and it takes repetition. Don't get upset with him. Mild annoyance and then it's worth his while to avoid the annoyance.

What I'm also getting that I really like is when he's going in the crate, he's sitting on his own. He's respecting the fact that it is the crate and not necessarily trying to just run out on his own. That really gives me the opportunity when he sits to actually work on, Jack here, the here command.

So two very important aspects that he's going to be learning throughout his training is to go somewhere on command and come on command. And this is the first early, early teachings that he's going to get for kennel and here. And because I'll be putting him in and out of his crate all day long, maybe 30 or 40 times a day, that'll give me the opportunity for plenty of repetitions. Let's do one more time.

8:40 Jack, kennel. You got that fight. That's...good! There you go! So I think that time he maybe gave me about 70 percent and I gave about 30 percent. That's certainly getting better, our percentages each time.

And Jack, here. Alright! Good job buddy.

9:00 [Closing]

9:23 Announcer: helping you get the most from your hunting dogs.


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