Friday, July 2, 2010

New Crate

We're going camping up north this weekend and last year we came to quickly realize that we should have brought Bug's crate along for her to sleep in at night. Every little sound had her jumping up and running to the door, whining and barking to be let out.

This year, we were planning on taking her some-what-portable-but-nott-really wire crate - rather bulky and awkward. Then, I was at Target and found a nylon collapsible crate. I brought it home and knew that in order to make her comfortable in it, I would have to teach her that it was a good place to be.

So, I tried shaping again. This being the third new behavior she's working on with clicker training, she really got the hang of it - after looking at it just once she was already offering a paw inside of it. After about three minutes, she was going all the way in. About two more minutes later, I could close the flap on the front, leave the room for about fifteen seconds, and come back and she didn't make any fuss. She would just lay in there, tail wagging.

At this point, I felt it was a good idea to stop while we were ahead. I told her "okay, all done!" and rough-housed with her for a few seconds to signal that work time was over. I turned around to put away my treat bag and clicker and I hear this "plop" behind me on the floor. I turn back around and see Bug laying in the crate again, looking up at me expectantly, wagging her tail. It was adorable and I was so thrilled that she was so eager to learn and work (or play, as I'm sure she saw it as a fun thing to do). So I gave her an extra big treat which she proceeded to take into the bedroom to lay down and savor it.

Next big task after vacation: loose-leash walking. I'm crossing my fingers!

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