You can cue your dog to go into his crate
by teaching him a cue word, such as “Go to bed.” So I’m going to show you a couple of
ways to do that. You can actually teach your puppy to go into his crate on cue. And this
is what I’m gonna do now. I’m gonna place a treat in the crate. As puppy goes in, I’m
going to give the cue: “Go to bed.” Go to bed. Good boy. Good boy. You can actually
see he’s working out so quickly that this is where the good stuff happens, so he just
stayed in his crate for a couple of seconds to see if he’d get anything else. Go to bed.
Good boy. Now, I use a lure with my hand in the crate with a treat coming through with
my hand here, and I’m gonna tell him to go to bed. Let’s see if he can work it out. As
he goes into the crate, I’m gonna give him the cue word, so he begins to associate the
action of going in the crate with the word. Let’s watch him work out how’s he’s going
to get that piece of food: He’s got to go into his crate to go get it. As he’s gonna
go into his crate, I’m gonna tell him to go to bed: Go to bed. Good boy. Good boy. Nice.
Go to bed. Good boy. After repeating this a couple of times, you’re just going to use
your hand as the lure without a treat in there. Go to bed. Good boy. Now he’s just gonna get
praise: Good boy. Now, I’m going to actually add the food back in. He never knows when
he’s gonna get the food. And when you do this kind of reenforcement –sometimes the dog
gets food when the dog complies, sometimes doesn’t– it actually makes the dog work even
harder. Because at the end of the day, you don’t want to give him food every single time
he goes into his crate. So this is starting to build-up that cue word, that whenever he
hears it, he’s gonna go into his crate whether there’s gonna be food or not. Go to bed. Good
boy. Good boy. Good boy. Go to bed. Good boy. Good boy. Now, I’m gonna try it without the
hand being there as the lure: Go to bed. This is hard, because he’s got to make the association
with the word and the actual action of going in there. Has he made it? Let’s see. Go to
to bed. Good boy. Good boy. Shut the crate door. Good boy. Yes, very good boy. Open the
crate door. Good boy. Very good. You can also catch your behavior. So, for example, even
if you haven’t cued your dog to go to bed, if you catch your dog actually in the act
of walking into his crate, just say that cue word, so that he really begins to associate
that group of words– the action of going into his crate. The thing that I love about
puppies is they learn so fast. And the wonderful thing, also, is I’m not forcing him to do
anything. He’s making choices. If he makes the right choices, he gets great rewards.
And remember, every dog is motivated by different rewards: Some dogs are motivated by food.
Some dogs are motivated by toys. Some play, some praise, some petting– it doesn’t matter,
just find your dog or your puppies biggest motivator, and use it. That’s how you teach
your dog to go to bed, positively. I’m Victoria Stilwell for eHow Pets.