Monday, June 14, 2010

Trainer Tip: Crate Training Calamity

At Happy Tails Books we've got some great training resources, and by golly, I'm going to use them! That means that you, our reader, can send in training questions through our website, and we'll post answers for you here. Look for the blog title "Trainer Tip" for training information.

Training Question:
Today's inquiry comes from Ginny who recently adopted an eight-year-old Yorkie named Lizzie. She says Lizzie is a great dog except when she needs to go out at 2:30am and 5:00am. She had taken up her food and water by 7pm to no avail. Lizzie likes to nap in her crate during the day but isn't too keen on being closed into the crate at night. Ginny really needs a good night's sleep!

Trainer Kathryn Segura writes:
Hi Ginny,
The first thing you should always do when you have a dog with potty issues is take her to the vet. The cause of the urination may be a urinary tract infection or other medical issue. If her nightly peeing turns out not to be related to a medical problem, it might be because wherever she lived before you, she was able to go potty whenever she wanted (maybe she had 24hr access to a dog door?).

She may not like it when you close the crate at night, but you can't give into her. Who's the boss here? You'll have to start closing the crate at night. You can even practice closing the crate door when she is in there during the day, perhaps closing it and then giving her a treat to make it fun. Just don't make a big deal about it and stay calm - dogs can feel your anxiety. At night, put her in the crate give her a treat, say good night, and walk away. She may not like it at first, but everyone needs their sleep!
Good luck!
Kathryn


So there it is. Lizzie will have to get used to the crate. It sounds like she doesn't have an aversion to it in general, so it's just the idea of shutting her in there at night that she'll have to get used to.

If you're interested in more training tips from Kathryn Segura, check out her book entitled Hollywood Barks available at http://happytailsbooks.com.

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