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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was very, very stupid when I first got Lillie and did not crate train her. Now, as she's getting older I'd like for her to be comfortable at trials/events. I really want her to love a crate and have a safe place of her own. I bought the Crate Games DVD and I love it, but the issue is that I can barely get her near a crate to begin. I started today by taking the plastic pan/bottom out and letting her sniff it - then clicking and treating. After half an hour and sitting her dinner on the pan, we finally got all four paws on. Now, she'll pretty much step on it and not think twice. However, the crate as a whole is super scary to her. I even tried putting food in and she will stick her head in but is very hesitant. I'm going to start over tomorrow using this method Acclimating Fido to his Crate - Method #2. Meanwhile, are there any major tips that I should know about? I don't want her to be afraid and I feel so awful that I didn't acclimate her to this when she was younger. She tends to have a problem with anything closing over her head though - even tunnels - and tends to be head shy with outreached hands as well.
 

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Dreizehn's breeder (and I for a short period of time) would feed puppies in the crates so it became associated with something that (almost) all dogs love, food! Perhaps you could start feeding her close to the crate and slowly, over a matter of days, move the food bowl into the crate until she has to be all the way in to eat.
 

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I tried to crate train Kyrah at first when she was a pup but it didnt go over very well. It stressed her out passed what I could handle. But at work she would lay in her kennel the whole time I was there. But dont shut the door. I wanted her kennel trained for pretty much the same reason as you.

I started with a clicker like you. I just went slow. I would have her touch the crate next and c/t for that. I then up'ed it to her walking in and out of her crate. Then going in and standing, then sitting and finally laying down. Then when she went in and layed down I would close the door and immediately open it. Praise and treat. Then I had the door shut for 15secs, 30 secs, then 1min and gradually added time. She does well in the crate if I am home and I can leave her in there. But since the training have only left her in once at home with me leaving. As stressed as she was when I got home was not worth it since she is very well behaved when we are out. And I was not gone more than 30mins. But I do still take her to some places that I bring her crate and she is fine in it. IMO its more all the distractions around her keep her mind busy looking around and not so worried about being in her crate. But as far as sleeping in those situations. So far she has to be pretty much exhausted.
 

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Good suggestions Herb2... That's pretty much what we did to get our girl accustomed to the crate... But again, she was a puppy when I did this so I can imagine it is very different to try to teach a dog this...

Just go slow, don't expect progress within the first couple of days. I know for us personally it took a month for our puppy to be totally ok with going in her crate, and it improves as time goes on. Just keep it positive, with lots of praise. I also second the feeding in the crate thing... But start slow like Patchwork mentioned, start in the same room and move it closer every time. Eventually you will get her to go in the crate and eat. After a couple of weeks I had my dog jumping into the crate and laying down while she waited for her dinner!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice everyone! We've left the door open and have caught her sneaking half of her body in when she thinks we aren't looking. Yesterday, she had three legs in before she back out - much better than I expected. I'm letting her go at her own pace. If it takes a while, so be it, I won't be trialing with her for a good while anyway. I think the meals have most definitely helped :)
 

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Yeah this info helped me out. I need to leave him in his crate a few hours a day and so far he does not like being in it at all. Im goin to try the feeding thing.
 
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