What do you think, can a dog crate train herself? I asked this on my Facebook page a while back and some people did believe if a dog could do it, I would be that dog. Sit back and enjoy learning how I achieved this goal all on my own.
As a puppy, there was a huge crate in the house for me to be in once and a while if Mom was gone, but was rarely in it. My first real crate experience came along with my first nose work class when I was seven years old. Dogs are always crated during class, so there I was, suddenly in this crate. Bailie was crate trained as a pup, so she was used to it, and even brought her own crate and blanket along to class.
Last fall when we attended the sniffover up north, the rules were that dogs had to be in crates if left alone in the cabins. I didn’t have a crate, so Mom ordered me one. It arrived, she assembled it, and I proceeded to go in and sit down. Mom doesn’t like crates, so the doors are typically closed, but at first it was open.
Bailie used my crate sometimes when Mom was gone because it has more space than hers does. There was a blanket in the bottom of it to make Bailie more comfortable. One day, Mom forgot to close the door and after a period of time she realized I was MIA. She found me, in the kennel.
Mom is not really stupid, so she realized I might actually like my crate. She got a real cushy bed, put it into the kennel, and left the door open. Guess what she found a while later? Yep, there I was having my afternoon nap in my crate.
If a dog is going to crate train herself, she has to repeat the behavior until it becomes a habit, so I started napping more and more in my crate. I find it quite cozy and it is in the back office where it is real quiet too.
One evening I was so sound asleep in my crate I didn’t even wake up when she turned on the lights and took this photo. She won’t let me spend the night in my crate, though. She says I need to be in bed by her.
Sometimes Bailie and I are both in our crates hanging out. Mom can close the doors and we don’t mind at all. To answer the question, can a dog crate train herself, the answer is, yes. The problem is to train the mom to not mind the dog being in the crate. Mom still dislikes crates and doesn’t like me sleeping in mine when I don’t need to, but she lets me do it. Do you have a dog who has crate trained herself, or do you think your dog could do it?