This blog is dedicated to all my clients who have endured a very loud barking dog in a crate and argued with me that it's impossible to overcome. Rolfe is not super happy about being in his crate and works very hard to let me know that he's there whenever I return home.
As I've told my clients, consistent practice of stay will build confidence/independence and ultimately resolve other behavioral issues. In time and with consistent training, Rolfe will also learn to curb his noisy calls for attention as he gains confidence, and I want my clients who think I don't understand because Gatsby is "perfect" to know that I am right there with you now. Rolfe, like any dog introduced to a new environment, will certainly test my patience, but it's my job to provide him with clear and consistent messages. He is super smart and he's got Gatsby to help teach him so he'll be great if I don't mess up :-)
Our training began with "Stay" because I truly believe that a dog's ability to master "stay" and "watch me" are the keys to a strong training foundation. Rolfe successfully stayed in his crate for a total of 5 minutes today with only a few reminders, and we will work up to 30+ minutes over the next few weeks.
He did very well overall for his first day. I was actually able to move away, sit down at my desk and take my attention off of him for part of the time. He did "sneak" out at one point, but he quickly returned to the crate when asked. After the pre-determined 5-minute duration, I released them both by simply saying "ok, come".
In the short clip below, notice how Gatsby's attention is nearly 100% fixed the entire time with only a brief glance at Rolfe to check in on how he's doing. Also, please ignore my lovely outfit of medical scrub pants and a t-shirt...it was a long day :-)
Growing up in the country in Pennsylvania gave me tons of experience with animals from a very early age. I later pursued a career in horseback riding and also have experience as a veterinary technician. I have a strong passion for animals and have an uncanny ability to connect with all sorts of furry friends.