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Tommy Coyote

Help! Trainers

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I just got a new customer with a new puppy. She is probably lab/pointer and came from a rescue situation on a farm. She was one of 10 puppies.

 

Stella is just 12 weeks old. She has a great temperament and is really very smart. And she is going to be a great dog.

 

But this is what we need help on. Stella was not crate trained and now she has to stay in her crate while the owners work. I go get her out about 12:30, feed her and get her outside. I have to keep her on an extension leash because there are holes in the fence that she could get through. And she has just started play keep a way and I don't have time to try and catch her.

 

This puppy has more energy than any dog I have ever seen. Wow! The problem is that when she comes out of her crate she is like a little tornado. She is so happy to see me - or the owners when they get home. She just goes crazy bouncing and jumping up. And she is so fast. But the good thing is that she does calm down pretty fast.

 

What do we do to train her to come out of her crate and not knock the bejeezus out of us.

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A friend of mine is working on a similar thing with her Aussie pup. What she's doing is not rewarding the behavior by not letting the pup out until it settles.

As she describes it, it goes something like this: She approaches the crate, the puppy starts pinging off the sides of the crate. My friend sits down on the floor and asks the pup to sit. When it's quiet, she flips one latch (there are two) on the crate door. The puppy starts pinging again. My friend sits back quietly and again asks it to sit. When it's quiet, she flips the other latch. If the puppy pings and jumps again, she holds the door shut and once again asks for the sit. Then she reaches in without opening the door completely and if necessary, asks for another sit and loops a slip-lead over the pup's head. She may have to physically prevent the pup bolting out the partly-open door, but the idea is the puppy cannot come out until it's well-behaved.

It's something she's worked on in stages, but as she describes it, the puppy has learned that if it's acting silly in the crate, the door doesn't open and it can't come out. It only comes out when it's quiet. Food treats of course are fine if it helps.

Hope this gives you some ideas! :)

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^^ This. I didn't have time to write up a reply earlier and when I can back the perfect answer was already here.

 

It will be time consuming. There's no way around it. But IMO it's the very best way to approach the issue. The impulse control that's learned through this process should translate into other areas as sell, so that's an extra reward for the human's time spent.

 

ETA: I corrected the "self reward" (I have no idea why I wrote that) to "impulse control," which is what I really meant (and makes more sense). :P

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Gloria posted pretty much exactly what I would have suggested if I had gotten there first. :-)

 

I would add to that: If, once out of the crate, the pup gets jumpy again (on leash, of course), just stand there and ignore her. What I do is pretend that I am looking elsewhere, but really I am watching the dog so I will see as soon as she settles down. The moment that she puts her bum on the floor, and she will eventually, immediately reward her. Repeat as necessary.

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