How Crate Games Make Going Into The Crate Fun

I have been working with this Havanese puppy, Migo, on training him to go into his crate.  I did this by making the crate a hugely valuable place to be (from his point of view), by using clicker training and positive reinforcement.

You can see how much he enjoys crate games by how fast he runs back in. Since he is moving in so fluidly, it was time to begin adding a cue just as he is on his way into the crate.

Dog Training Tip: Keep Training Sessions Short

The other day, while watching television, I used commercial breaks to practice a few things with our Sam. In the two minutes of time, we were able to work on combinations of sit/down/stand/stay, hand targeting and weaving through my legs. In another break, I took out my circular pie pan and practiced stationing to it (going to it and standing with his front two paws on it). When the commercials were over, I gave Sam his ‘All Done’ release cue and stopped to focus on my program again.
dog training tip from Cincinnati dog trainer Lisa DesatnikHere is my point. That sort of impromptu, every day teaching sessions are awesome to build into your day. The most effective training is done in short intervals, ending on a positive note, so that both you and your learner can really focus.

There are so many behaviors you can work on in a minute or two minutes time, and even just as you go about your day. Here are just a few suggestions:

Sit and/or down/stay – adding distance, duration and distractions

Recall – ask your dog to sit, walk to another part of your house and call him to come (or course, giving him a nice reward for getting to you)

Body touching – if your dog does not like to be touched in certain places, you can spend time teaching him that touches are the predictor of food or play

Tricks – work on teaching your dog some new and fun behaviors

Crate games – reinforce your dog for running and staying in his crate or bed

What ideas do you have for making the most of that minute or two with your pet?

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