Crate games!

16 Apr

For the past few months, we have been regularly practicing “crate games” with Ilsa and Gumbo following the protocol designed by Susan Garrett. This training technique is amazing for teaching dogs to LOVE going in their crates – and more importantly, it teaches them to be calm once inside.

When this DVD was recommended to us, we were eager to try it. Although Ilsa and Gumbo have both been crate trained since puppyhood, they tend to lose their cool in the car when they know we are headed somewhere exciting. Turning onto a gravel road usually means birds are coming – let the insanity commence. Since starting crate games, we have noticed a dramatic improvement in their behavior which is much better for them mentally before entering the bird field (and it saves us from the headache of high pitched barking πŸ™‚ ).

I was inspired by Anna and Luna over at Vizsla Inspiration (I guess Anna named the blog appropriately πŸ˜‰ ) following Luna’s trick of balancing a treat on her nose and catching it the air. The key to this trick appeared to be Luna’s patience to balance the treat which Anna cued with the command “wait”. While our Vs know the command “leave it” and “free” as a release, we’ve never used a command like “wait” followed by “free” to distinguish leaving something completely from leaving it UNTIL given the okay to take it.

I thought crate games would be a fun way to work on this. It’s worth noting that I first introduced the command “wait” by using treats in my hand. Check out the video to watch llsa playing this game. She doesn’t get it right on the first try (I’m a little slow on the command), but we’re both getting better! πŸ™‚


One Response to “Crate games!”

  1. Anna April 16, 2012 at 8:45 PM #

    I’m gonna have to look into that crate game thing. I am glad I could inspire a new command for you all. I use “wait” a lot with Luna, basically any command that could be temporary usually gets a wait at the end, and i do think she knows the difference between a “wait” and “stay” as you can see it in her face. She stays attentive to “wait” as she knows something else will follow as opposed to “stay” being more final and long term. Anyway that was a big fat tangent, good luck with your “wait” training. And thanks for the link up πŸ™‚

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