Puppy Training 101 Part 2.
Create Training Exercises and Routines
- Practice: If your dog is stress out or simply doesn’t like being told to go into their cage for rest time, practice short intervals of time with them throughout the day allowing them time to understand the new routine. If they are barking and carrying on, wait until they quite down for a few minutes before releasing them otherwise they will learn that misbehavior gets you to respond.
Do not place them back into the cage right away after you have released them. Allow the dog some time to relax, or go for a walk, play or practice one of your training exercises. Before you know it, this will become the new routine and the dog will do great. If your dog is still struggling with the process, consider practicing the “Create Game” exercise three times each day (See Training Videos). I believe you can completely turn a negative behavior into a positive one with the right type of behavior modification.
- Note: There are exceptions to the rule when training dogs to boundary areas. Not every dog should be trained with a cage, so make sure you’re aware of all the alternative boundary set up areas you can use to safely and effectively protect and teach your dog as you go through the process.
- Please do not use your training cage as a punishment if the dog does something wrong. We want the dog to understand that the crate is their safe place (Shelter) and it should always be used as a positive good place for them.
Consider feeding your dog in the crate.
- Reason: This concept was designed to mimic where the mother dog would feed and protect the puppies from other dogs as well as help prevent aggression to protect their food.
- Benefits: The technique allows the dog to develop good eating habits for the future as well as helps the dog to learn how to relax and settle down after being feed. If the dog has developed a fear or dislike of the cage, this may also help reset the dog’s opinion of the cage as well as help develop a positive association to the cage.
Keep the crate fully covered each and every time you lead them into it.
- Reason: Dogs are cave dwelling animals with a natural instinct to seek small hidden places for shelter and safety. Without a covered cage, most dogs are restless, unsettled, and over stimulated.
- Benefits: Most dogs learn how to relax and settle down when life is going on around them. They don’t develop obsessive or destructive behaviors. They learn to trust you and soon learn how to trust the training. We also find that they become better listeners and protectors in your home. They can’t misbehave when you’re not watching and typically become more stable adult dogs.
- Problems that can occur when families choose not to cover the cage. Many of our dogs are being so over visually stimulated, they never have the opportunity to experience the mental rest time which is so vitally important for their developmental, so as you start this new process, remember to be patient as this may take a couple of days to a couple of weeks depending on how consistent you are and how stable the puppy is.
- What to expect if you cover the training cage: Most dogs don’t like the idea of taking away their view point (like my dog Sassy). So if you are not using a purchased cage cover designed to fit your cage, your dog will pull the sheet or blanket into the cage and potentially chew it. So what I recommend to do is to place a flat board on top of the cage that is approximately eight inches wider on each side of the cage so as to allow the bed sheet to be draped over it which will prevent the dog from reaching it, much like a big tent. Remember, only use light weight breathable material like a flat cotton bed sheet.
- What behaviors to expect: Strong willed dogs will bark with frustration, anger and confusion at first and may chew or paw at the cage. Shy and fearful dogs may become stressed due to the new changes and cry, wine or also bark obsessively. Their cries will sound much different than a dog that has to go to the bathroom or is excited to be let out. So learn to be a good listener and observe their behaviors.
Bobs Pet Stop shows how to create a potty area. See webite
In-Home training, (training your dog in your home) provides the best possible way to build a dog’s listening skills, which I call “
Learning.” Once your dog develops a sense of respect and trust toward you and your family, your dog will be ready to meet and greet the social world with confidence. When we start foundational learning we call this the “Learning Phase” which is learning a new task without distraction and repeating these tasks enough times or repetitions to allow your dog to fully understand your messages. This also means quicker learning experience and a great way to help prepare for more challenges ahead. Once you and your dog have worked through the learning phase, we will then progress to other types of distraction phase learning.