We all have places where we like to go to unwind and just blow off a little steam. The world can get just a little too crazy and we just want to take a “time out” for a little while. This could be the gym, a movie, or the Lazy Boy and a good book.
Our dogs also have a critical need for their own safety zones. This fills their natural need for a cave or den where they could retreat and unconditionally become safe and secure. It is a place that they can also unwind and rethink the world around them. It is important that we nurture this need with our dogs and actively provide them with the opportunity to have one or more of these places available to them. These places can be either single locations or even mobile.
We always try to do our best and try to train our dogs (and family) as best we can, but sometimes our dog just gets out the front door. It is amazing how our “well trained doggie” turns into a misbehaved mutt when he has the freedom and excitement of the entire neighborhood. Whatever we do, it seems that our trying to catch him just makes it worse.
As dog trainers, we have to admit that this happens with us and our dogs from time to time. We have found that our normal, human reaction to trying to catch our dog just adrenalizes and encourages our dog to run more and faster. We need to understand that we must calm down and take the process slow and methodical if we ever want to get our dog home on our time and on our terms.
Crates are really great for our dogs. They are a place of safety and also a sign of security. We can use them as a simple place to feed our dogs as well as a place to have them when the repair man is over to fix the disposal. The problem that many of us often face is getting our dog to easily go into the crate. This problem probably started with some sort of inappropriate use of the create or lack of passive socialization in the introduction of the crate.
We need to focus on making the crate a great place and to make our dog “want to go” into the crate. This really isn’t a big deal if we introduce some simple exercises focused proper crate introduction and passive, supportive socialization.