Crate Training Breakthrough

We had a big day yesterday.

Sadie discovered her bark.  She was playing before breakfast and got really mad at this toy.  It is a rubber glove with a baseball.  The baseball is part of the glove and Sadie was barking at the toy because she couldn’t get the ball out.  It was fun to watch… I should be taping these moments.

After breakfast we had a good play session and then I put Sadie in her crate while I ran some quick errands.

I gave her a treat in the crate to distract my leaving.  It was a small biscuit.

When I returned home, Sadie was crying loudly from her crate.  I suspected she was crying the entire time I was gone.

Not good.  I took Sadie outside for a play session and then we had lunch.  After lunch I took her upstairs to have some good experiences in the crate.  I put a little treat in, she would enter, I’d shut the door and come and leave the room.  We did this for a while.  It was working, but as soon as the treat was gone, she’d cry.  She needed something that lasted longer.

I took this blue toy and put some peanut butter inside two ends.  It is like a kong with 4 ends to fill.  I put it in the crate and closed the door.  I folded the laundry and kept moving into and out of view.  She still got upset when the treat was gone, but now she was entering the crate on her own… she quickly learned that if she goes in, she gets something yummy!  🙂

We stopped the training to go to Sadie’s first vet appointment.

It went very well.  She had a very pleasant experience at the vet and in the car.
No shots today.  She weighs 8 pounds 6 ounces.  She got a check-up and her nails clipped.  Oh, and a few more treats from the staff. 🙂

I really like this vet.  I think it is very important to trust your vet… listen to your instincts.  We discussed vaccinations and when to spay Sadie along with some training advice.  He suggested I move the crate into the family room during the daytime to help her adjust to being in the crate when I leave the house.  It is a wire crate that collapse to move easily.

The vet also recommended I switch Sadie’s dog food to a puppy formula.  The breeder was feeding her a blend that is supposed to be good for all stages of life.  The vet said no.  He said those blends do not have enough nutrients for bone growth.  Of course, I already bought a 30 pound bag of that food.  I’m going to do a little research today to make up my own mind.  I respect the advice, but the brands he recommended included the food we used to feed Daisy.  When the breeder originally emailed us the food brand, I researched it and it rated very high.  I was surprised that Daisy’s food was not rated highly.  I’m a little conflicted… so I’m going to educate myself and see what I discover.

After returning home, we had a play session outside and then we went in and moved the crate into the family room.  It actually was kind of annoying to move.  It is not something I’d want to do every morning and night.  I decided to see the results before worrying about that.

I was floored with the success!  That’s Sadie sleeping peacefully inside the crate!  🙂

The smart girl went right inside when I set it up and laid down.  I didn’t even tell her to.  She was tired, so I sat on the floor to see what would happen.  Eyes closed, I went and shut the door.  She picked up her head and laid it back down.  Huh.  Ok, I locked the door.  She went to sleep.  I stayed in the room and when she would stir, she’d check to see I was still there.  She woke up and I took her out to potty and play.  We practiced being in the crate a few more times that evening.  Some sessions were great, others were a little noisy when I left the room.  But, she never lost control and calmed herself eventually.  Progress!

Springer Kisses for Dad

I told Marcus about our progress and he told me to go get a second crate for the bedroom.  So, I made a late night trip to my favorite place… TARGET!

And bedtime?  Continued progress there, too!  She went right in and with very minimal whimpers, went to sleep.  I was actually laying in bed thinking “She’s sleeping and I’m not!”  🙂

She did wake up for her potty break and I was so tired, I think I forgot to lock the door to her crate when I put her back in.  I woke up an hour and a half later when I heard the gate make a noise.  I looked down and she was standing outside the crate!  Luckily I’m a light sleeper!

I’m off to play and then research dog food.  I’ll share the results tomorrow.  By the way, it’s 60 degrees today!

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3 thoughts on “Crate Training Breakthrough

  1. Pingback: Second-Guessing « Tail Waggin

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