We are brining home our pembroke, Riley, on Sunday.  Everything I've read about crate training has said not to just put the dog in there but to use treats to train him to use the crate making sure to take it slowly.  If that's the case, how do I bring him home?  It's a 2 1/2 hour ride home from the breeder.  Also, where would he sleep the first nights if I can't just put him in the crate?  I want to make sure we do train him correctly, so I'm a little confused. 


Thanks for all of your help!



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That is where your early socialization is key. For a well-socialized puppy who gets to see lots of new and fun things, and friendly people and dogs, one or two bad experiences are put in the context of all the good ones and don't stand out. But if your pup never sees much but your own four walls and backyard, then has a bad experience out of the home area, it will stick.

Just like if your dog has met dozens or hundreds of dogs and one charges or even attacks him, chances are he'll still be ok with dogs. But if he only knows one or two dogs and then has a bad experience with a strange one, it will really stick.

Some dogs with genetic tendency towards fearfulness would not follow that generalization, of course, and for them one bad experience can be hard to reverse, even with good socialization.
A personal anecdote from me:
My brother's australian shepherd was eating off a plate when he was a pup, stepped on the edge and it flipped up. I'm not sure if it struck his nose or not but it made a whole lot of racket and scared the heck out of him. For a looong time after that he'd only eat off paper plates and freak out at the sight of a real dinner plate. After a while he did get over it though and can now eat off real plates, haha. So they can definitely gradually get over their horrible traumatic puppyhood events.
Good luck with your Riley! We used a crate with our only non-rescue corgi, Odie, which we got at 81/2 weeks old. If I remember correctly (9 yrs ago, and I'm getting old) he took to the crate right away. We started with a small crate and then graduated to a bigger crate as he grew. We kept the door open during the day and closed it at night. When we brought Lucky home, Odie used his crate as a place to get away from that new whipper snapper that had invaded his home. Bringing in an older dog and trying to introduce them to a crate hasn't worked for us, so start it now. Enjoy your new little bundle of joy!


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