Crate Training

Posted by Arlene
Apr 3, 2008

I crate trained my beagle/shepherd puppy Ember when she was 2 months old. I didn’t use treats. I just put her in it. She had no problem with it. She is now 6 and a half months old. I leave the crate door open and she pokes the door open and goes in and out as she pleases (and she goes in on her own quite a lot). I lock her in it at night and when we go away. She comes over when I say night-night or den time, but then I have to guide and push her into the crate. What is the appropriate way to get her in the crate when I want to lock her in? Should I give her a treat every time?

Thanks. Arlene
Posted by Todd
Apr 6, 2008
Hi there Arlene

Wow you seem to have a very well trained and friendly dog, congratualtions

Food rewards are a great motivator. But they need to be used properly. If you use a food reward every time then they become attached to the reward. The best way to use them is to get the dog used to the praise and not the food.

Whenever you get her into the cage use a food reward and give her lots of praise. After a few times give her a treat 5 times and on the six don't. But still give her all the praise and petting you can.

After another few attempts give her rewards for 4 times and on the fifth only give her praise. Keep on reducing it down until she hardly needs the food reward.

She seems like she has good experiences with her crate but try feeding her in it or putting her toys in it to make it a bit more attractive.

Often with all the training in the world she may need some gentle persuasion to get her in the crate. You are doing a great job so keep up the good work and please let me know how things go