Crate Training Tiny the Rottweiler.
Tiny is a young Rottweiler whom you may recognise from the video below. He has a whole host of issues (see below video) but the main reason I was called was because of his Separation Anxiety. Tiny would destroy the house when left and get so stressed the owners would come back and find him in a drooling state. It got to the point they built an outdoor enclosure for him when they were not at home, this of course stopped the destruction of the house but did not help the separation anxiety.
Tiny also escapes from the crate.
Now it was my job to teach him about the crate and that it’s a place to relax and not get worked up and escape. The other reason for teaching him about the crate is that he does not switch off. He is constantly worked up, getting up to no good and does not take him self off to relax. He is constantly aroused and this only adds to the anxiety and is not health.
We begin by just tossing in a treat with the door open. He has to stay in the crate until he offers some sort of relaxed behaviour. As soon as he does that we release him. We repeat this process until he cottons on to it. Once he is more intune with what is going on, we shut the door. Again we wait until he offers some sort of relaxing behaviour and then we open the door and release him.
The reason we wait for relaxing behaviours is because we want him to know, this is what opens the door. Once he is more fluent we add in duration. By doing this he will start to see the crate as a place to relax.
We never open the door when he is excited. He catches in fast.
If this was a dog that was scared to go in the crate, we would begin by just leaving the door open and putting the bed in there and toys and food. We would do this over a period of a few days to get the dog use to it. With Tiny, he is comfortable going in the crate so we could move quicker, he just was never taught how to behave when inside the crate.
Crates are excellent for dogs. Every dog on the planet should be crate trained. Even if they get to a stage where they don’t need it and you stop using it, they should still be crate trained. My dogs are, I don’t use them anymore but if I needed to, I’m comfortable knowing my dogs know and understand what the crate is.
The reason dogs should be crate trained is because, it helps with your routine, it helps with toilet training, it helps a dog relax, if a dog has to go for an operation the vets put them in a crate pre and post op, imagine if the dog is scared of the vets and does not understand the crate. They may need to be in there after surgery. Crates are excellent.
Anyone who thinks crates are cruel are purely looking at it from a human emotional stand point and not what’s best for the dog. Dogs like den like environments, dogs like a safe place they can go to when things are getting to much, the crate offers that and is more natural then you think.
If you introduce the crate properly and take your time with it, teach the dog what the crate is, you will see an improvement in your dog.
Nearly every case of separation anxiety I get called for I quickly find out the dog has not been crate trained or crate trained poorly to the point they feel trapped. Its very rare to see separation anxiety issues in dogs that are properly crate trained.
Stay tuned for updates on Tiny, the totally awesome Rottweiler and check out his video below this one to see us help him around dogs with his nerves and impulse control.
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