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by Seth Barton
(Portland, OR.)

We just rescued a 1 year old jrt by the name of Jordan. we've had Bruce who's a jrt mix for about 7 months. I started crate training on the first day home because this is where Jordan will sleep but have run in to a problem, he loves his crate when I have the top off and the gate removed, it's more like an open bed, but he hates it when it's put together into a crate. even when the door is left open he is afraid to enter.
its' been four days and he still wines like a baby for about 15 minutes whenever he's first put in. Does any one have any ideas?
Bruce took to the crate like it was always his home so Jordan's reaction is surprising to me.

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Jan 19, 2012
by: Linda

Thanks for saving this little guy. Since he was a rescue it's hard to know what kind of experience he had prior to coming to you with crates. Maybe he had a bad experience. It sounds like it's going to be a slow process with him adjusting to the crate. What I would recommend doing immediately is feeding him his meals inside the crate. At first place the food near the door, then inside so he can eat but while standing outside of the crate. Eventually you can place the food far enough inside the crate so he must enter entirely to eat.

Leave the door open at all times. Prop the door open so it doesn't accidentally close on him. Sit near the crate when you pet him. PRAISE HIM when he eats near it, smells it, settles near it...

You must reverse his fear and mistrust and correct it with praise. Even if you know you sound like a loony, go gaga over him when he interacts with it. If you give this ample time, you will eventually find he will willingly rest or play in the crate without instruction. At this point, while you are home, casually begin to close the door. Maybe not all the way at first. Get a feel for his level of comfort in the situation.

When you are finally able to close and lock the door the first few times, make sure you are home, in a place where he can see you at all times. Don't make it a big deal when you lock or unlock the door, just treat it as if it were second nature. If you're anxious, he'll match you with resistance. Also, try putting in his favorite toys and a kong filled with peanut butter and biscuits (and reserve that for the crate only).

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