Caysun's Crate Love is coming along nicely. She's running to the crate at meal time. She definitely knows where the goodies are delivered. We're making good progress. After she finishes her meal, she lays quietly, waiting to taken outside to do her bathroom business. She's doing so well, it's time to up the criteria a little bit.
Our latest lesson includes her being crated at other times (other than mealtime or bedtime). This is a little harder – the other dogs are moving about, I'm in the room and then back out of the room, and all she can do is watch. It's definitely a tougher job than just going in the crate when nothing else is going on.
To make the task a little easier, I pair it with a known Crate Love activity: meals. So today, I fed her lunch in the crate, closed the door and went about my business. When I move from room to room, every dog in the house follows me. (If you don't have a Labrador, you might not know this about them – they LOVE to be wherever you are. Even the bathroom. I'm not kidding. I wish I was, actually.) I digress (again). So, this time, after Caysun's done her meal, I didn't let her out right away.
There was whining. There was a bark or two. I ignored her, kept doing my chores, and the dogs, of course, dutifully followed me around. She made noise for about five minutes, nothing more than a whine here, a bark there, but finally realized she was there to stay. Bored with barking, she fell right to sleep.
Quick note: Usually, I advise you to get your pup out right after eating. The reason I raised the bar for Caysun's crate love today was that (1) she was ready for it and more importantly, (2) she had just peed and pooped outside before her meal. I have an hour or two on my side. The instant she wakes up, though, I'm going to carry her outside to let her do her business.
As Caysun gets accustomed to staying in her crate after a meal while the other dogs are out and about, I will start crating her at times other than mealtime and bedtime. I want her to be used to crating whenver and wherever. We've got a long way to go, but we're moving along at a nice pace — keeping things fun for Caysun.
Stay tuned, I'll keep you updated on everything puppy that we go through!