Teach Your Dog to Stay in a Open Kennel
Now that you’ve got your puppy entering his kennel like a rockstar you’re next goal is going to be teaching your puppy to want to stay in their kennel. Dogs that want to stay in their kennel will be quiet when in a kennel, they will be less likely to try escaping through the day and you can have the kennel door open while they remain kenneled.
Before you practice this one your puppy should already know that the word “kennel” means go inside your kennel. If your puppy doesn’t click here to see how to teach that.
For teaching your dog to stay in a kennel with an open door you’re going to need a lot of yummy treats. If your dog is really food motivated, I recommend just using his dinner, because like I said we’re going to use a lot of treats. If your puppy isn’t easily motivated by food may need to use something yummier like diced hot dogs or moist training treats just make sure you have them cut up into small pieces.
Tell your puppy “kennel” and when your puppy enters the kennel jackpot three treats towards the middle or back of the kennel. Be sure to toss the three treats one at a time, but one right after the other.
For the first 10 seconds your puppy is in the kennel you’re going to toss one treat for every second that your puppy chooses to stay in the kennel. Even if the only reason they are staying in the kennel is because they are looking for treats. Make sure that you toss the treats to the middle or back of the kennel. Don’t forget to only toss one treat at a time.
During this step your puppy wants to get out of the kennel before the 10 seconds is up that is totally fine. Let your puppy choose to exit the kennel if he wishes, don’t try to body block your puppy or to use the door to prevent him from exiting the kennel. Your puppy is going to learn from leaving the kennel. What your puppy will figure out that it’s less rewarding on the outside of the kennel and he will likely choose to go back into the kennel.
If your puppy decides to stay inside the kennel after the first 10 seconds, then for the next 10 seconds you’re going to give your puppy a treat for every three seconds they stay in the kennel. You’re still only tossing one treat at a time and you’re still trying to toss the tree into the back of the kennel or the middle of the kennel.
If your puppy chose to exit the kennel during this exercise don’t worry! It’s no loss to you. Your not missing out on any super yummy treats. When the puppy exits the kennel simply pause and take a step away from your puppy. Don’t pay the puppy any attention. Your puppy will eventually go back inside the kennel to see if he missed any treats. When he does say your marker word, “Yes” go back to step one where you jackpot your puppy with three treats.
Excellent job! By now your puppy is choosing to stay in the crate on his own for 20 seconds. You’ve gotten at least 5 repetitions successfully where your puppy hasn’t tried to exit the kennel after 20 seconds.
Now you can continue to gradually add duration in between treats.
Before you know it you’ll be having to talk your puppy out of leaving the kennel. The goal is to have your puppy have the mindset of “Why would I ever leave here? This is a very rewarding place to be. If I stay in here on my own choice I get treats, but if I exit the kennel I get nothing.”
As your puppy gets better at this exercise and you can add other challenges like taking a step or two away from the kennel returning and treating your puppy. Once your puppy is successful at that for multiple repetitions then you can try to take even more steps away from your puppy returning and giving your puppy a treat for choosing to stay in the kennel. Remember don’t correct your puppy if he exits the crate. It’s his choice, but he’ll learn soon enough that leaving the kennel means he’s missing out on exciting rewards.