Monday, September 7, 2009

Crate Training

I finally broke down and bought a crate for Miss Casey. I have been wanting to crate train her but was afraid I would completely fail and she would firmly protest. By firmly protest I mean stand her ground and refuse to enter at all.

Luckily a family around the corner was having a yard sale. A perfectly sized crate was a great deal. I could not resist. After washing and drying we put it up on the deck so she could see and smell it.

After an hour or so I put some treats in, but she was terrified of the plastic bottom. Being the ever resourceful beagle she tried every way possible to get that treat but could not. My husband had the idea to take the plastic tray out and she immediately went in for the treat. Good Girl. We brought it in and put it in the room where we watch t.v. I put a blanket in, one that is familiar to her. I also hid some treats in and under the blanket. Silly girl is smart enough to pull the blanket and the treats out. That was the end of day one.

Day Two
The crate sits with the door open and Casey's blanket spread out on the bottom. Casey has no interest but she is not afraid of it either which is a good sign.

During the day I put a couple treats in. She knew right away that pulling the blanket out brought her the treats. Not good when your dog is smarter then you are.
After some reading I learned I am doing exactly what I should be doing so I proceeded with the next step. Feeding her in there.
I put it half way in and she went right after it. She was comical as she stretched to reach the bowl. Upper torso and front legs were in, but she was very nervous about what to do with the hind end.
As the bowl slid further into the crate, her love of food overcame her apprehension and she went all the way in to lick her bowl clean. I held the door open so she could turn and make a clean get away when needed. She continued to go in and out sniffing and licking her bowl, not wanting to leave even a drop behind. I was so proud of her. She was getting comfortable with the crate after only one day of it being in the house.
Steady and slow, don't rush her, and she should be good with having her own "pad" It will be a blessing for the times we want to go away and take her with us.

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