It is useful to have a number of behavior management tools on hand in addition to your basic training equipment. The better you are managing your dog’s behavior to prevent him from being reinforced for unwelcome behaviors, the easier it will be to teach him that only desirable behaviors make good things happen. If you do a good job managing your dog, you won’t feel the need to yell at or otherwise punish him for being naughty.
A crate is an invaluable management tool. It is an artificial den for your dog that makes housetraining a breeze and givers your dog a safe place where he can stay.
Here are some tips for crate training:
- It should never be a place of punishment.
- Your dog may adjust more easily to stays at the vet hospital when he can take his portable bedroom with him.
- Puppies can be crate trained with relative ease.
- Crates should be just large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.
- Start with the door open and just toss the treats inside.
- Gradually toss the treats further and further until he is stepping in to get them.
- At this point you can use verbal cues, such as “go to bed”.
- When your dog is staying in the crate with the door closed for at least 10 seconds without any signs of anxiety, close the door and latch it. Then step away from the crate.
- When you are not actively training, leave the crate door open.
Whether you’ve never trained a dog or are just switching over to positive training, Pat Miller’s book, The Power of Positive Dog Training will show that training your four-legged friend with positive training tools is easy, fun and effective. Available now at Whole Dog Journal.