We’re picking up right where we left off – with Hadley’s third crate training session. Hadley is a fast and active little Border Collie. Staying still doesn’t come naturally to him! I need to build duration in tiny increments. The most important part throughout the teaching process? We’re both having a good time!
Hadley – Session 3
00:04 Since Hadley offered a down outside the crate just before, I click for one paw in, “Yes, we’re still talking about the crate.”
00:20 I was going to click for 2 paws in, but he went all the way in – so I jackpot with a handful of treats.
00:45 Since he did so well with all 4 paws, I wait for him to go all the way in again.
00:54 “Will you choose to stay inside if I delay the click?” Yes! Good boy!
01:00 Building duration for standing in the crate.
01:07 Hadley leaves the crate …
01:10 … so I start building duration from scratch once he is inside again.
01:33 He offers a sit! Jackpot!
- Start each session just a little easier than you ended the previous one in order to set your dog up for success. Then raise criteria again. Once your dog has offered a sit, gradually expand the duration. Sooner or later, they should offer a down: sitting gets boring!
- Jackpot the down, then gradually build duration again – this time with the dog lying down in the crate.
- Just like you did with the standing and sitting dog, go back to an easier version of the exercise anytime your dog gets up and/or leaves the crate. If you make it all the way to counting to 6 in your head with your dog lying down, but then they get up and leave the crate, start with immediately clicking for walking in and lying down, then clicking for lying down while you count to 1 in your head, lying down while you count to 2, lying down while you count to 3 etc. The reason we click a lot is that we want our dogs to be successful and have fun rather than be frustrated and give up. This is especially important for dogs who are new to clicker training and shaping.
- If your dog gets up after the click, feed them in the position you just clicked – just use the cookie to lure them back into a sit or down.
Hadley – Session 4
In this session, I try building duration for the down. Hadley is having a hard time staying down. That’s okay. When he gets up, I just lower criteria and go back to clicking as soon as he downs and counting to 1 or 2 in my head. We’re not in a rush. Note that when he gets up after the click, I feed him in a down position. I just use the cookie to lure him back down. Feeding in the desired position will speed up the learning process!
01:47 You’ll see me click and then say “Get it!” in the end of this session. You’ll observe the same thing in some of my other videos in this series. The trainer I am today would not click before saying “Get it!” “Get it!” itself serves as a marker cue.
- Build duration in a down position until you can count to 10 in your head without your dog getting up!
Hadley – Session 5
Building duration for lying in the crate. Hadley is still tempted to get up a lot. I’ll patiently explain what I want him to do until he understands – and he will understand. It’s just a matter of time. Always work at your dog’s pace!
Hadley – Session 6
Hadley is getting better at staying down! At 02:17, I count to 9 in my head before he gets up. (I’m counting fast with Hadley. He needs the duration to increase in steps smaller than full one-second increments. In his case, counting to 9 is not the same as 9 seconds.)
Check back next week for part 3 of the crate training series! If you’ve been following this tutorial with your own dog, leave me a comment – I’d love to hear how it’s going!
All parts of the crate training tutorial:
Part 1: https://chrissisdogtraining.com/crate-expectations-part-1-shaping-interactions-with-a-new-crate/
Part 2: https://chrissisdogtraining.com/crate-expectations-part-2-lying-down-in-the-crate-and-starting-to-build-duration/
Part 3: https://chrissisdogtraining.com/crate-expectations-part-3-adding-a-cue-and-extending-duration/
Part 4: https://chrissisdogtraining.com/crate-expectations-part-4-building-relaxation/