Thursday, April 8, 2010

Crate Training

Crate training is an auxiliary component of Vegas' agility training. For agility trials to run, workers are needed. Workers are the handlers. So, that means Vegas often has to spend a good amount of time crated between runs. Especially as a day progresses, I think this is good anyway. I know she should have down time to relax, rest, and just have a quiet space. For whatever reason she has separation anxiety, it really comes out at trials when I crate her. I have a giant wire crate I've been bringing, but that thing is a beast. Plus, I have to bring umpteen large blankets for it to cover it as it's otherwise wide open. She has chewed the bars in so many places, the crate is more of a mottled black and rust now. She has cracked the crate from her frantic digging which scoots the tray out of the crate. The first crate cover I made to fit it she pulled inside the crate and chewed a huge hole in. I'd been really giving thought to getting a soft crate but it wasn't smart to do until Vegas is trained to love her crate. So, when someone gave me one, it spurred me into action. Here is our first night with the crate set up and my week 14 photo for 52 Weeks of Dogs.
I also have Susan Garrett's Crate Games DVD on the way. Friends swear by it and I really need to get Vegas to that place where it's her haven - for dog shows, hotel stays, and when company comes over. I just found this video on YouTube and I thought I would share as it really is a goal to have her that well trained and focused on the crate being the "cool" place instead of the "dreaded" place.

The DVD is supposed to arrive next Thursday and in the meantime, the crate is set up downstairs and her comfy pillow bed is inside. The top is open to make it more airy. When my son came home from school today and was opening the front door, she was just getting out of it so that was super exciting. Of course her alternative was the floor since we put baby gates on the furniture during the day!

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