I feel like I have started crate training Sunny incorrectly, and now it's getting to a point where I will need some guidance on the next step.
I followed most people's instructions for crate training, I put treats in there all the time for him to get, I don't leave the house immediately when I crate him, I usually let him walk in by himself.
For the last few days, he refused to go into the crate, when he sees me put a treat in there in the mornings, he knows that I want him in there, and he runs and hides under the dining room table.
There are a few reasons why I think I didn't crate train him correctly:
- A few times, I had to put him into the crate quickly, and I carried him into the crate.
- I leave him out when I leave for 1 or 2 hours. I crate him when I have to be gone for work or anything that takes longer than 2 hours.
Does anyone have any suggestions to how I can correct this behavior?
I guess I have to ask if you work on training him at times when you don't have to leave, as well. I'm assuming you do, since you said you "put treats in there all the time for him to get," but I'm not 100% certain.
The only thing I can recommend is to keep at it. When I trained Ellie I just kept it simple. If she went even halfway into the crate after a treat, I'd say a happy, "Yes!" and then offer her another treat when she came back out. I worked it up so that I required her to go further and further in before giving her a reward. Then she had to wait with the door closed for a moment (with me sitting right there) and so on.
It'll take some time, but it will happen. :)
Good point. He may associate going in the crate with you leaving. Trying having him go in - THEN give the treat and don't close the door and let him out. I used "go inside" as a command for the crate and xpen. Now, "go inside" means xpen and "go to bed" means crate since he's no longer crated during the day and only a night. I tried crating him when I left for work but then quickly started using the xpen - more room to stretch out and relax but still not free reign of the house. He still stays in the xpen when I'm at work.
He is smart and has figured out your whole routine. You did things correctly, still he does not want you to leave. Is the crate large enough for him to stretch out? Vary the times you crate him and give a special treat only when you are going to leave him crated the longer period (like a Kong with s bit of peanut butter and kibbles in it), otherwise just a regular treat. You can take him for a short walk before you leave and then, on leash, lead him directly to his crate.
If he has been good when you leave him free in the house for one or two hours, start extending that time gradually. Leave on whatever noise you generally have in the house ( music/TV ) on a low volume.Make sure he's had some exercise before you leave. He may do well without the crate.
I crate-trained my corgi,, Bess, very successfully for a while, including using the command "crate" right from the start, until she figured out it meant that I was leaving, and then she started running and hiding under the bed. After a few struggles (putting it mildly - she knew exactly where to hide so I couldn't reach her easily - darn corgis are so smart!), I also started crating her at random times and reinforcing success with a treat. She very quickly started going back in on command after a couple of weeks of that. And I also agree with the others that you have to use the crate consistently when you leave. I crated Bess every time we left until she was well over a year old, even when we went out for a short time. Finally, if you haven't already started, I'd suggest that you sign up for a beginner's obedience class. It really helped Bess and I bond and she learned to listen to me pretty consistently in the class.