Mom gets lots of emails from animal websites. One of our favorites is from a website called DogAge.com.
Each week they send us an email with the 'tip of the week'. This week it was talking about crate training your pup. I gotta tell you from experience, "crate" training is the way to go.
The very first night I came home, mom put me inside the "crate". It wasn't a good experience. I cried, really really loudly.
To ease me into my new "house" (we don't call it a "crate"...we call it my "house") each time mom would put me inside for the night she'd say, "night night Jack", cover my house with a blanket and turn on a cd that was all instrumental music (very soothing!)
If I'd cry or whine, she'd say, "night night Jack". If I woke up in the middle of the night, she'd take me outside to go potty. I'd get so excited because I thought she might let me into her bed, but no. Instead, the door to my house would open, a treat would be placed inside, I'd follow the treat, door would close, cover would be put in place and she's say, "night night Jack".
Here's what I like best about having my own house:
- I get to spend all day in there with a super soft blanket
- I have my own space that I don't have to worry about anyone taking
- When I have a sleepover at Grammy and Grampy's, my house comes with me, so my routine doesn't change
- Because I'm older and wiser, now all mom and dad have to say is "Jack, inside" and I walk right into my house and wait for a cookie
Even though I just turned four, I spend my days in my house and I sleep each night in my house and I love it. (Although, I get to fall asleep with mom each night but dad wakes me up to go downstairs when he comes to bed...)(This is my door knocker!)
I grew up in a household with dogs that were not crate trained and I have no idea how my parents did it. For the overall well being of the animal, and the mental health of the human, having a 'safe-place' for the dog to retreat to vital.
Example, when the hubs mows the backyard, Jack thinks this is play time and gets upset that he can't go outside with his dad. He will get SO upset, whining at the windows, jumping at the backdoor. Jack gets himself really worked up, to help avoid this situation, when I know the lawn is getting mowed, I simply tell Jack, "inside", and he goes into his house. Problem solved.
If a child from the neighborhood comes over and Jack gets too excited, "inside". We don't even have to close the door anymore, (well, during the day and at night we do...) he knows that is his house, and that is where he belongs.
Its a tough road to "house" train your pup, but once you do...its TOTALLY worth it!!!