Training and Care — Tip Of The Week
Excerpt from Our New
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
Training your pup to be comfortable in a crate is extremely handy for many reasons. For one thing, it allows you to easily transport your dog – particularly handy for vet visits. The crate can also come in handy for housetraining. As we touched on in the last section, dogs won’t go to the toilet where they sleep. If you get your dog comfortably sleeping in her crate, she will learn to hold her bladder when she’s inside it. This means you can leave her in there for hours at a time when you can’t be around to make sure she doesn’t mess up the carpet. But you need to approach crate training the right way and start slowly.
On top of that, the crate is also a useful tool for preventing and curing separation anxiety. That said, if you approach crate training the wrong way you can actually create separation anxiety.
The Right Way to Crate Train
Not surprisingly, the best method for create training looks similar to a lot of the other training methods we’ve used in this book. It involves slowly introducing your dog to the crate while providing lots of treats and positive reinforcement.
Use the information from Chapter 3 to teach your pup the command “In Your Crate.” She may not pick up the command early on – that’s fine. Just follow the advice about feeding her in her crate. Once she gets comfortable in there, start locking the door. Start within sight of the crate at first. Leave her in there for progressively longer periods, but make sure she can still see you while she’s in the crate.
When she gets to the stage where she can stay in the crate for over 10 minutes without whining or panicking, start going out of sight. The first few times you try this, come back within the first few minutes and reassure her you’re still there. This lets her know you’re not abandoning her forever. But after that, start leaving her in the crate on her own for longer periods. You can work up to leaving her for several hours at a time in the crate.
Next time: Using the Crate
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