September 30, 2010

Crate Re-Training

In another month, Kate and I (and another friend and her dog) will be attending this workshop.  Because Katie will have to spend a little time in her crate (while I'm listening to lectures), we're doing some intensive crate re-training.  Kate was crate trained as a puppy, and I used to crate her when we were doing agility, but in the past few years, except for going to the groomer or vet, she hasn't had to spend any time in a crate.  At the workshop, she'll have to stay on her own in a room with other dogs in new surroundings.  I'm hoping that I can get her (us) ready for this.  (If I can't, my friend has kindly offered me one of her dogs to train for the weekend--now that's a real friend!)

So about two weeks ago, I set up the crate and, without making a big deal about it, I started leaving goodies in there for her to find.  Of course she went in there, snagged the treats, and left.  But still, I'm continuing to do that and hoping it teaches her that good things happen when she goes in the crate.  After about a day of this, she went in on her own and took a nap.  And that's happened a couple more times--usually in the evening when we're all down there watching TV.  She learned pretty quickly (or maybe remembered from puppyhood) what "go in your crate" means, and gradually I've been leaving her in there for longer periods.  I give her a stuffed kong, close the door, and  do some chores on the 1st floor where she can see me.  She can now do about 20 minutes before she gets restless.

In this clip,  I'm asking her to go to her crate and then reinforcing when she does.  At first I'm reinforcing for just going in, but then she offers me a down, so I reinforce that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good work Katie-Dog and Bianca-Trainer.
xoxo the Falbos