Here is a step-by-step training plan for building duration in the crate. It’s ideal to allow some time to pass between these steps – fit these exercises into your daily life so it is random and even more effective.
Remember to take your time and work at your dog’s pace. Rushing through will only cause the foundation to crack!
Start each step off by signalling your dog into their crate (comfortable bedding, favourite toys) and give them their stuffed Kong or long-lasting chew. Every time you end the exercise, trade off the Kong for a few tasty treats and put it back in the freezer (top it up if you need to).
- Close and latch the door and get comfortable beside the crate.
- Hang out for 10 minutes, dropping a treat into the crate every 20-30 seconds.
- Repeat the previous step, PLUS:
- Get up and leave the room for 2-3 seconds (max) randomly throughout that ten minute period.
- In between these short absences, hang out near the crate again as you were, dropping treats randomly into the crate.
- 30 minutes for the full exercise | leave the room intermittently for 3-5 seconds | feed every 2-3 minutes.
- 1 hour for the full exercise | leave the room intermittently for 10-15 seconds | feed every 5-10 minutes.
- 2 hours for the full exercise | leave the room intermittently for 20-30 seconds | feed every 15-20 minutes.
Now you’re ready for the big time!
Secure your dog in their crate with their stuffed Kong or long-lasting chew and go about your business around the home for 30 minutes.
Next round, do the same preparation but leave the home for 15 minutes. This is where many students may choose to use monitoring technology so that you may come back if your dog is struggling.
Once your dog if comfortable for 15 minutes, you can increase your absence to 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, etc…
Be mindful – some dogs may show signs of anxiety or stress once their food toy is empty. Monitor for this and if that is the case, you may want to get in touch with us! We can help.