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Teaching Your Dog to Kennel Up on Command is Easier Than You Think

by Robin MacFarlane

I've seen people break a sweat trying to wrangle their dogs into crates...

Having a dog that goes into a kennel on command is so much easier than dealing with the wrestling match that some people have to go through. I've seen people break a sweat trying to wrangle their dogs into crates in order to ride in the car or get them ready for an airplane flight. It is not fun for the owner or for the dog.

Life is much easier with a dog that will load up on command. I teach all my dogs to enter their kennel when told. I start in puppy-hood by tossing treats into the back of the kennel and playing crate games that demonstrate to the dog that going in is fun and rewarding. They also learn to be calm and quiet when confined, plus to come out in a controlled manner without knocking anyone down.

Eventually, I add an e-collar prompt to my training. This allows me to insist on kenneling up in the event my dog gives me a refusal at any time in the future. (Plus for those who understand directional training, I can use this concept to build a send-away as well.) There is a little resistance, but it is over come very quickly if you understand how to help the dog.

For one thing, make sure you start by having a leash attached, so you can limit the dog's ability to turn around or avoid going into the kennel.

This command is taught in a very similar way to how we taught the Place command in our DVD. If you use the leash and walk up to the kennel (rather than starting immediately in front of the door), you will also get less resistance as the dog enters.

This is a very simple concept of pressure on, pressure off for the dog to learn. Movement toward the kennel is prompted with E-collar pressure and physical movement, and e-collar pressure is stopped as soon as the dog commits to entering the crate.

I also like to incorporate the concept of remaining in the kennel until given permission to leave. Incorporating that concept prevents those dogs from trying to spin and dart immediately back out.

Take a look and see if this is something that might be valuable for your training repertoire.
-- Robin

Robin MacFarlane is a professional dog trainer and owner of Thatís My Dog in Dubuque, Iowa. Her best-selling dog training DVDs, JUST RIGHT and JUST RIGHT 2 have helped thousands of dog owners teach their dogs basic obedience and fix problem behaviors through a system of training that you can easily work into your daily routine.
  • Robin writes for Gun Dog Supply on our E-collars Dog Training blog
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  • Pull-Quote= Use your e-collar training to help teach the dog to kennel up.

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