Posted on September 23, 2014
Introducing Lemon! This 4-month old Spaniel/Aussie Mix is quite a love bug! Sweet as she is, her constant demands for attention are becoming problematic for her guardian who works from home.
Lemon is not subtle with her requests for attention. She shadows people from room to room, carries her water bowl around to play chase, barks when she doesn’t get immediate attention or, worse yet, barks at night when she’s alone in her crate.
At Zen Dog Training, we emphasize the importance of early-intervention training to prevent unwanted behaviors. Lemon’s attention seeking behaviors may initially be perceived as endearing, but if not stopped early and appropriately, the behaviors can escalate and cause more serious issues for Lemon and her owner.
During our visit with Lemon we recommended using a crate for independence training. Teaching your dog to be comfortable in the crate is an important management tool. Crate training done right should not stress out your dog or make them suffer. Dogs are naturally den animals so many dogs grow to love their crate as a safe resting place.
Getting your puppy comfortable with the crate makes house training, managing destructive behaviors and helps dogs develop self-soothing skills. With Lemon, we suggested placing her in the crate with a chew or favorite toy. Once the crate door is closed, Lemon should be showered with treats. Initially we suggested crating Lemon for 2 – 20 minutes each day, 10 times per day until she can remain calm and quiet for longer periods of time.
During initial training, her owners should stay close - even sit in the room, but not give her any eye contact (look at Lemon in the crate). Next, they can increase the challenge by moving out of the room or to another part of the house, out of sight. Later, they can open the front door or pretend to be leaving.
When crate training a dog there will often be crying, howling or whimpering. It is best if your dog is let out of the crate only when calm and quiet. However, for some dogs crate training is especially hard. If you are having problems crate training your dog please contact Zen Dog Training right away.
For more information on crate training for independence or other dog training topics, visit us atwww.ZenDogTrainingOnline.com to view our extensive collection of video tutorials.