Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Crate = Treats!

I remember the days after we had gone to the breeder's house to look at her miniature schnauzer puppies and had picked Oscar out, but weren't able to take him home yet because he was too young. We bought his crate and set it all up with towels inside, ready for our puppy to come home. We bought a crate that came with a divider so that we could make the crate smaller when he was younger and increase it as he grew. A crate that is too big can slow crate training down, as it leaves room for the pup to go to the bathroom in the crate.

We had planned to crate him at night from the start in the mudroom (where the door to the backyard is), where his crate would be kept, rather than in our room with us. We didn't want to get him into the habit of sleeping in our room, which would make it more difficult for us to move him out later. 

Oscar cried for about twenty minutes the first night before he fell asleep. He woke up once or twice through the night and we let him out to do his business. When he got back into his crate, he cried again for another twenty minutes before falling back asleep. He only cried for about three nights before he got used to sleeping on his own in the crate. Pretty good!

We never force him into his crate. We try to associate it with good things and give him treats when he gets into it, including a treat every night before he goes to bed in the crate. When we need him to be quiet for a while, we give him good treats like a stuffed Kong in the crate. He usually takes a little nap when he's done eating.


How is it possibly comfortable to sleep like that?

Sometimes he'll just run into the crate without even being told and will watch us in the hopes of getting a treat, but he has actually learned to get into his crate on cue too.  Handy!

1 comment:

Oskar said...

What a good boy! We schnauzers are very smart pups, if I do say so myself!

Nubbin wiggles,

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