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Shiny Happy Pets Issue

Myth: Dogs associate crates with punishment. Not if you can help it! You can prevent a negative ass ociation by never, ever punishing your dog im mediately before or while she is in the crate. It is best not to leave your dog crated for hours upon hours every day while you are at work, but how long is too long? Pup quiz: Puppies can usually hold it for one hour for every month old they are, plus one. So a 4-month-old puppy should be able to hold it for about five hours. Occasional stretches: Most healthy, housebroken adult dogs can remain in a crate for up to eight hours, but this should be an occasional, rather than regular, occurrence. Break it up: If you know you’ll be away for more than eight hours, look for someone who can stop by and give your dog the opportunity to stretch his legs — and take a potty break! Work it out: For your pup’s mental and physical health, make sure she gets plenty of exercise before and after time in the crate. Myth: Once a crated dog, always a crated dog. B uste d! If your dog is c o m plete ly housebroken, and you h a v e n’t observed any sig ns of destructive behaviors when you leave, you may want to consider gradually letting her stay outside of the crate when you're not home. Consider gating off a room as a "home-alone zone." wag expert advice Playing games is a great way to teach your dog to fall even more in love with her crate — and have some quality bonding time with you! Beginner: The Party Room! Goal: Teach your dog that crate = special treats. ✓ Every time she goes in, give her something that will knock her socks off: a bully stick, stuffed Kong® or other delicious, long-lasting snack. ✓ Praise her for eating it in the crate. ✓ As soon as she comes out, take the snack away. Your dog will soon learn that if she wants her wonderful snack, she needs to eat it in the party room! Intermediate: Crate Retrieves Goal: Associate the crate with fun. ✓ During playtime, toss a tug toy into the crate. ✓ Use TONS of verbal praise when your dog goes into the crate after it. ✓ While your dog is in the crate, have an enthusiastic game of tug together. The second any of her paws step out, stop. ✓ If she steps back in, resume play. If not, toss the toy back in and start over. Your pup will soon learn that fun happens when she is fully in the crate. advanced: Send Outs Goal: Make the crate home base! ✓ Standing beside the crate, give a verbal cue (“kennel up,” “crate,” etc.) and toss a few tiny treats into the crate. ✓ Allow your dog to go into the crate to get the snacks, and toss more treats intermittently while she is in the crate. ✓ Once your dog knows the command, close the door with her inside the crate, but do not latch it. Slowly open the door, closing it all the way if your dog tries to bolt. ✓ When your dog can stand inside the crate and not break for the exit, give a release command (“okay,” “release,” etc.) and encourage her to come out, but do not praise or give a treat. ✓ Repeat, varying the distance from which you send the dog to the crate, the distractions going on outside of the crate, and the amount of time your dog remains in the crate. Have fun crate games of your own? Tell us about them — or share your success with the above games! — by emailing fetch@gopetplan.com. the shiny happy pets issue 53


Shiny Happy Pets Issue
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