Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fixing Red's Crate Screaming

This is how I am fixing Red's unhappiness in a crate.

First thing I did was take away the crate in the car and I stopped
using the crate in the house so that I could retrain it. Red is a soft
whiny dog as several people on this list will attest. I will add back
the car crate in another week or two. He had gotten to the point where
he did not want to jump in the car and I had to shove him in the

Now we feed Red all his meals in a crate - with the door open to start
but now I close the door while he is eating. Red goes in his crate
first, I then deliver his meal. I latch the door and walk away. I
return to let him out as soon as my other dog is done eating as Red is
the slower of the two. That way I can return and open the door before
he finishes eating. However I think it is time for me to start
returning after he is done but before he is noisy about it.

I always leaving the crate door open when the dogs are not inside. A
couple times a day I'd toss treats in the crates while the dog were
out side playing. Both dogs run in to their crates when they come in
the house now from being outside to check for any stray treats. They
just stay long enough to eat the treats.

I put a very comfy pad in the crates. I found Red napping in his crate
with the door open the other day. It was just before dinner time and
all the comfy dog beds were in the washer.

I started doing formal crate training sessions. Red used to be great
in his crate so basically I am *retraining.* I started with clicking
him to go in to a crate. I put a crate in the living room and one
next to my computer in my office. I tied the doors open. I started
with just clicking Red dog for looking at the crate, moving towards
it, putting a paw in it, etc. When he has a body part in, I toss the
treats past him in to the back of the crate instead of clicking him
which causes him to come out of the crate to collect his treat. Soon
times I close the door with out lacking it. He'll stay. I let him out
before he whines. Some times I latch it.

I just started walking away from him while in the crate and leaving
him with a stuffed kong or another goody. And I've been leaving him a
minute or two. Sometimes I send him in the crate and ask him to stay
with the door open and me near by. I think all the mat training we
have been doing helps a lot too. I have not put his mat in a crate.

I started class with a treat and train on the top of a wire crate. I
found that Red never left work mode. He would eat and whine and eat
and whine and every once in a while if he could not see me but could
hear me talking to the class, he'd scream and or bark and then go back
to eating the falling treats.

So now every I class I spend a few minutes at the beginning of each
class to shape him to go in the crate. I don't leave him for long. I
take him out and we go do mat work. Later in the class I do another
session. And then after class we do a third. I put the thickest
comfyest warmest sleeping bag that I could find in the largest crate I
could find. I've been putting canned tripe in his kong. And I let him
out of the crate as soon as he is very settled and comfy. I do leave
him and go out of sight while he is working on his kong. He'll now go
in the crate in class when I request it and stay until released. And
after released he will turn around and reenter the kennel to check and
see if he missed any treats.

(Lynnda is this what you mean by training posts?)


  1. knock on wood.....the only crate screamer I have is Dashie and he only screams when it's time to go out.

  2. "Is this what I meant by Training Posts?" Yup. Lynnda