The Benefits Of Crate Training

The Benefits Of Crate Training

Hi it’s Tenille here from Dog Matters. And today we’re gonna talk about crate training. Now many people see crates and think oh I don’t want to put my dog in a cage so it would be really mean. But there’s actually some really amazing benefits to crate training and that’s what we’re gonna talk about today. So obviously if we were to shove our dog in a cage and lock them up and never interact with them, that would be mean. We wouldn’t do that. But the way that crate is supposed to be used is not cruel.

The dog likes being in there. They’re trained to like being in there before you lock them in there. And its not something that they’re forced to do or stuck in there for hours on end and then once they’re happy being in the crate there are many benefits to having your dog crate trained. So one of the benefits is if you need to transport them. They can stay in a safe place in your vehicle and they’re safely contained, not distracting the driver and they’re comfortable.

Another important benefit of crate training is if your dog needs medical attention an operation, they often need crate recovery time and that’s going to go a lot smoother for you if anything happens, if your dog is already crate trained. Another benefit to crate training is toilet training. And crates are often just used for toilet training new puppies or new adult dogs that haven’t learnt to be house trained by having them in, its like their bedroom and its their safe space their bedding is in there. You feed them in there and they instinctively don’t want to toilet where they eat and or sleep. So it helps to train your dog to hold on and gives you the ability to control the timing so that you can take them out to where you want them to go in toilet training.

Now I mentioned that you want to make sure that your dog likes the crate. So if we have a look at Lola here she is actually gone and gotten into the crate without me telling her when we were setting up for filming and we moved her crate into the room to just film the crate and show you what it is like and she went and popped herself in there voluntarily with the door open and made herself comfortable which she is still working on that but you can see she is quite relaxed and happy to be in there by choice and that’s how you want your dog to see crate training as well. And then if I was to shut the door which I’ll show you now. Its not gonna make any difference to how relaxed she is.

Good girl.

So this is a wire crate and that’s the type that I would recommend for most dogs with your crate training. Your dog shouldn’t be scratching at the door to get out. You should be doing your foundational training to make them know that it is a safe space and to actually like being in there and then usually for most cases we are only using it for a few hours at a time at most or to use it overnight for sleeping in which doesn’t really matter. That’s a longer period of time because they’re sleeping anyway and you want your dog to be comfortable and happy to sleep in their crates. This is also useful if you’re having issues with trusting your dog around chewing the furniture or things like that when you’re not around and they need to sleep inside for warmth overnight you can teach them to just sleep in their crate.

That’s their bedroom.

You know that they’re not going to get up to any mischief through the night and that they’re safe. Then your dog can gradually earn more privileges as they become more reliable and are in their habit of not destroying things overnight. They get in the habit of just sleeping through the night holding on to their toilets and as they get older and more experienced they can gradually earn more freedoms if you want them to sleep other places or sleep with the door open. You can also make it cozier and warmer by putting covers over the top or putting bedding inside.

As you can see Lola’s quite chilled out in there and not stressing or trying to get out whatsoever and that’s how it should look like. And they should also be willing to go in when you tell them and this is all again where your training comes in. So I’ll show you how easy it is once you’ve done some training to get your dog to go in.

Obviously she want in voluntarily as well. She is quite comfy. She wants to be in there. Lola, here, good girl. Alright so just showing you her going back in on command. Ready, in your crate. Good. She is like why did you tell me to get out and just me back in but that’s just to show you that they should go in willingly on command and that they’re quite comfortable to be in there, whether the door is open or not. The basics of how to get them set up for enjoying the crate like that and being willing to go in is to feed them in there, give them all their best things in there and to do some actual training where you are allowing them in and out and making it a fun game and a positive experience for your dog.

If you want to start crate training make sure that you don’t just shove them in and lock the door and expect them to get the hang of it. That would be very rare for dog to do that and that’s how you would get a dog that would get very stressed. So make sure you put in that foundational training and if you need some help with that make sure you check out the website for more training tips of crate training. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tip today and I’ll see you in the next video.

Please don’t forget to share this video and to subscribe to our YouTube channel and don’t forget to train your dog because your dog matters.

Click here for video transcript:

Hi, it’s Tenille here from Dog Matters. And today we’re gonna talk about crate training. Now many people see crates and think oh I don’t want to put my dog in a cage so it would be really mean. But there’s actually some really amazing benefits to crate training and that’s what we’re gonna talk about today. So obviously if we were to shove our dog in a cage and lock them up and never interact with them, that would be mean. We wouldn’t do that. But the way that crate is supposed to be used is not cruel.

The dog likes being in there. They’re trained to like being in there before you lock them in there. And its not something that they’re forced to do or stuck in there for hours on end and then once they’re happy being in the crate there are many benefits to having your dog crate trained. So one of the benefits is if you need to transport them. They can stay in a safe place in your vehicle and they’re safely contained, not distracting the driver and they’re comfortable.

Another important benefit of crate training is if your dog needs medical attention an operation, they often need crate recovery time and that’s going to go a lot smoother for you if anything happens, if your dog is already crate trained. Another benefit to crate training is toilet training. And crates are often just used for toilet training new puppies or new adult dogs that haven’t learnt to be house trained by having them in, its like their bedroom and its their safe space their bedding is in there. You feed them in there and they instinctively don’t want to toilet where they eat and or sleep. So it helps to train your dog to hold on and gives you the ability to control the timing so that you can take them out to where you want them to go in toilet training.

Now I mentioned that you want to make sure that your dog likes the crate. So if we have a look at Lola here she is actually gone and gotten into the crate without me telling her when we were setting up for filming and we moved her crate into the room to just film the crate and show you what it is like and she went and popped herself in there voluntarily with the door open and made herself comfortable which she is still working on that but you can see she is quite relaxed and happy to be in there by choice and that’s how you want your dog to see crate training as well. And then if I was to shut the door which I’ll show you now. Its not gonna make any difference to how relaxed she is.

Good girl.

So this is a wire crate and that’s the type that I would recommend for most dogs with your crate training. Your dog shouldn’t be scratching at the door to get out. You should be doing your foundational training to make them know that it is a safe space and to actually like being in there and then usually for most cases we are only using it for a few hours at a time at most or to use it overnight for sleeping in which doesn’t really matter. That’s a longer period of time because they’re sleeping anyway and you want your dog to be comfortable and happy to sleep in their crates. This is also useful if you’re having issues with trusting your dog around chewing the furniture or things like that when you’re not around and they need to sleep inside for warmth overnight you can teach them to just sleep in their crate.

That’s their bedroom.

You know that they’re not going to get up to any mischief through the night and that they’re safe. Then your dog can gradually earn more privileges as they become more reliable and are in their habit of not destroying things overnight. They get in the habit of just sleeping through the night holding on to their toilets and as they get older and more experienced they can gradually earn more freedoms if you want them to sleep other places or sleep with the door open. You can also make it cozier and warmer by putting covers over the top or putting bedding inside.

As you can see Lola’s quite chilled out in there and not stressing or trying to get out whatsoever and that’s how it should look like. And they should also be willing to go in when you tell them and this is all again where your training comes in. So I’ll show you how easy it is once you’ve done some training to get your dog to go in.

Obviously she want in voluntarily as well. She is quite comfy. She wants to be in there. Lola, here, good girl. Alright so just showing you her going back in on command. Ready, in your crate. Good. She is like why did you tell me to get out and just me back in but that’s just to show you that they should go in willingly on command and that they’re quite comfortable to be in there, whether the door is open or not. The basics of how to get them set up for enjoying the crate like that and being willing to go in is to feed them in there, give them all their best things in there and to do some actual training where you are allowing them in and out and making it a fun game and a positive experience for your dog.

If you want to start crate training make sure that you don’t just shove them in and lock the door and expect them to get the hang of it. That would be very rare for dog to do that and that’s how you would get a dog that would get very stressed. So make sure you put in that foundational training and if you need some help with that make sure you check out the website for more training tips of crate training. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tip today and I’ll see you in the next video.

Please don’t forget to share this video and to subscribe to our YouTube channel and don’t forget to train your dog because your dog matters.

How To Start Place Training

How To Start Place Training

Click here for video transcript:

How To Start Place Training

The place command, or place training, is one of my favorite commands. Today I’m going to give you a quick rundown of why it’s so great and how to train it. So why is it so great? Well first of all what is it? Place training is sending your dog to go and get on, and stay on a place. This can be a mat, a dog bed, but preferably something raised off the ground. Now I’m going to show you my favorite kind of place bed. Now this is Lola’s place bed. So this is I think a small. It’s made by Four Legs for Pets, and I think it’s known as a pet cot, but they’re really great because they’re sturdy, they’re long lasting, durable, you can tighten up the legs on the bottom to keep it nice and tight, and it’s raised off the ground. The reason that I like them to be raised off the ground is so that it’s very clear to your dog when they’re on their place, and when they’re not because we want to make sure that when they’re told to get on their place they get all the way on.

The reason that this command is so great is because you can then, once your dog knows it, use it to train a lot of other things like impulse control, your dog having self-control where there’s other big distractions. For example, and this is a classic, if you’re having trouble with your dog running up getting too excited around visitors at the front door, or barking at visitors coming to your house, you can teach them to go and get on their place bed every time someone’s coming to the door, and that’s a great and strong alternative behavior once the dog knows it. So how do we get the dog to know it? Well that’s what I’m going to show you now is how to train your dog to love going to their place.

So first of all I recommend that when you initially teach this you use a leash because if your dog gets off, what you’re going to do is grab the leash and just gently pull them back on. Lola’s keen to go, obviously she’s done this before, but that doesn’t matter because I’m going to show you the same steps that you’ll use with your dog and give you a quick rundown on how this is taught. So first up when the dog gets on there we want to reward heavily with a high valued food reward is going to be the easiest type of reward to use. So I’m going to hold the treat to the dog’s nose, and actually lure her like a magnet all the way on, and then upwards into a sit. Yes. Marking reward. Yes. Basically, I’m just going to keep rewarding the whole time that she’s on there, and make her really love being on that object. Obviously you won’t be doing the treats this thick and fast forever, but your first step is to heavily reward your dog for being on there.

If they get off in the early stages, you’re just going to lure them back on like you started with and continue. Make sure your dog has a clear signal for when they’re allowed to get back off their place bed. That’s critically important to get this command reliable. Break. Good job. You want to reward your dog so heavily for the place command in the beginning that they’re bounding onto it with joy like Lola is now trying to say I know that this is the spot that gets me a reward, where is it. So when she hopped on voluntarily like that, that’s exactly what we want to see. Break. Once your dog gets to that stage, that’s how you know it’s time to add the command. You can call it whatever you like, but make sure that once you start saying the command, you then pair it with getting onto the place bed.

Lola place. Yes. Good girl. And continue. At this stage you can also start to use less and less food rewards because obviously you can’t be streaming treats into your dog for doing this forever. Break. This is also where we want to up the ante and make your dog more accountable for needing to stay on place. So have your leash on your dog at this stage, and now if they get off it’s going to be “no”, grab the lead, and lead them back onto place with no food reward. Place. Good girl. Good girl. Now when she gets on place, I’m not telling her to sit or lay down if I can help it. I want her to know that this is a place to just go on and relax. That’s where we start stretching out the duration.

So I hope that’s given you a good overview and a good brief starting point for how to teach the place command. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Just as long as your dog goes to place when told, feels rewarded for being there, and doesn’t get off until they’re told. If you can stick to that, you’ll have it down in no time. Then you can start raising your level of distraction, and start using it to help all sorts of other things around the house. It’s a super useful skill. I hope you enjoy using it. I’m Tenille from Dog Matters. Now it’s time to go and be your dog’s best friend. See you in the next video.

How To Stop Your Dog From Barking Out The Front Of Your House

How To Stop Your Dog From Barking Out The Front Of Your House

How do you stop a dog from barking?

“How do you stop a dog from barking?”. Here’s a quick tip on how to teach your dog to be quiet when there’s excitement outside, and that the postman is not here to murder us.

For more training tips, please don’t forget to subscribe below or sign up for a free dog training membership at Dog Matters Academy.

Click for video transcript

How To Stop A Dog From Barking Out The Front Of Your House

I’ve got a quick tip for you today on stopping your dog from barking at things or people going past out the front of your property. Most dogs do this to some extent or at least get interested in what’s out there. It’s really about teaching them to ignore it and be quiet.

There’s a couple of things we need to keep in mind for this. The first one is that you can actually reward your dog for silence, even though it seems like your dog is doing nothing. In the absence of the behaviour you don’t want happening, you can reward your dog, and anything you reward for becomes stronger. Even if that’s silence and it seems like they’re not doing much.

We’re going to take our opportunity and reward the dogs for actually being quiet, not just wait until they bark, then try to get them to be quiet and then reward. If we always wait for them to bark first, you can get into a bit of a pattern, where the dog will learn to start barking, so that you tell them to be quiet, so that they then be quiet and then you reward them.

While we do want our dogs to learn to be quiet on command once they’ve already started, we also want them to learn not to start in the first place, so that they don’t into that pattern. Because dogs learn by patterns, routines and things that they can predict. They will see that there’s a pattern there, of when they bark, you will call them away or give them a quiet command, and then when they do it, they’ll get a reward.

If they know they’re going to get that reward at the end of that chain, they’ll make that chain happen. That’s an important thing to keep in mind.

Now, I thought I’d do this video today, I’ve got Chester and Envy inside. Across the road, we’ve got a lot going on with a house being built, there’s all different people coming and going, there’s a little dog out on the road that’s coming out of one of the neighbor’s houses, barking and then running back in, up and down the street. There has been some people walking past, and so, Chester, he really doesn’t care. But Envy gets a little bit concerned and suspicious – she’s more of a guarding breed.

I would like her to bark less at things that are happening out the front. I thought I’d use this opportunity to show you some of the things that I’m doing with them to just reinforce not to bark at everything that’s going on out the front, and you can use this with your dogs at home as well.

First thing’s first, alternative behaviours. One of the really popular ones is to teach your dog to go to place. That’s what they’re doing right now. They’re right near the window. They can still look out the window and see things, but they’ve also been told to stay on their places, and so they’re doing that as well.

Obviously, being in one place doesn’t stop you from barking, but it can stop you from getting so wound up and running up and down the window or from the window to the door and stuff like that. If your dog just needs to chill and calm down, teaching them to stay on a place like this, or even a really solid down stay is a great tool to have.

Alternative behaviours do help, when you’re trying to teach your dog what to do and what not to do. You can see that Envy is getting quite interested. Good girl, yes. I’m going to reward that, because she looked and was distracted by what’s going on out there, but she didn’t react.

Like I said, you can reward for doing nothing as well, so Chester’s also getting a reward just for staying in place and being quiet, because that’s what we’re after.

So one thing to watch when you’re doing this as a setup is that your dog might clue on to the fact that you’re training or you’ve got treats, whatever your reward is. I recommend treats. They’ll clue onto it and they’ll stop all of the barking, and they’ll just look at you. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, because like I mentioned earlier, you can keep rewarding your dog for the absence of the behaviour, and for doing the alternative behaviour instead.

Now also, you might be thinking, yeah, but you’re standing there with a treat bag, setting it up like a training session, and I get it, it’s not always going to look like this, because I have set this up today to work on this. I do recommend that you set up some training sessions before you wing it and you’re just dealing with it as it happens, and your dog’s already started going off, it’s not barking. Because doing these little practises will help your dog to understand what you want later, when you’re not prepared and they are barking.

I do recommend that you have your dogs reward handy, if it’s treats, especially if it’s dry treats, you can just have a little bowl sitting on the countertop while you’re working on this issue, and when your dog starts barking and you call them away or say quiet and they do it, you’ve got a reward ready to go. You can come up to where the barking is happening, tell them to stop and then reward them for being quiet. But these set up sessions are going to help you avoid that pattern we talked about earlier, where your dog wants to start barking so that you’ll tell them to stop and then reward them. That’s one thing to avoid.

If you do some of this practise, where you’re rewarding them for calm and quiet, while those things are going on outside, that’s going to help your dog understand the more overall picture of what you want.

Now your dog doesn’t have to be on a placed bed to do this. It’s one of the great alternative behaviours that you can use for this, but you can also just use a sit stay or a down stay. You can call your dog away, or you can teach them a quiet command by saying quiet, waiting for a few seconds of silence before rewarding. It should be a few seconds of silence, at least 10 seconds of silence, not just a brief moment and then back to the barking, because then they’ll just stop barking, take a treat, go back to barking, and we want to avoid those sorts of back and forth patterns as well.

If your dog starts barking again after you’ve said quiet, you can say no and redirect them into being quiet again, and then reward. Giving them alternative behaviours helps with this as well. To be able to set this up to work on it, choose times of day when you know that it’s busier out the front. Like the time that people are walking their dogs or, like I’ve got the situation that I can use now, with the people building across the road, and make the most of it. If you can’t be there to work on it and stop your dog from practising the barking, keep them in an area away from where it happens, because if they’re practising it all day without you there, it’s just getting more and more ingrained as a habit.

I hope that tip’s helped you today, and remember to be consistent, be ready and that your dog is always learning by what’s happening from you and from everyone else in your household.

Now go and be your dog’s best friend.

How To Stop Your Dog From Rushing Through Doors

How To Stop Your Dog From Rushing Through Doors

Stop your dog from rushing through doors.

Do you have to guard the doorway or gate when you open it in case your dog suddenly come rushing through doors –darts out and runs off on you?

Or perhaps your dog is just SO excited to go for a walk that as soon as the gate is slightly open they rush through like a mad bull?

It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, teaching your dog to wait respectfully at doorways is an easy task that you can teach on the go.

It’s important to stop dogs from doing this for obvious reasons. For example:

  • If your dog darts out of the door or gate at every opportunity they are also likely to take off and be difficult to call back. They also tend to run before they think which can risk their lives around traffic or get them into trouble with walkers and passers-by
  • Your dog can hurt themselves on the door
  • Your dog can damage your door, ripping it off it’s hinges
  • Your dog is displaying that getting to the other side is more important than listening to you

None of these are good things. So here’s how to teach your dog to wait politely.

I always say that when you are trying to figure out how to stop a behaviour you don’t want in your dog, first think about WHY your dog is doing it – what are they getting out of it?

Dogs don’t do things just because. There is always a reason and a perceived benefit. If you can figure out what that benefit is and it’s something within your control, then you can change the behaviour.

So what does your dog want in the case of rushing through the door? Simply, to get to the other side! 

Just like that famous chicken.

So we need to show the dog that when they try to rush through a doorway or gate, they actually miss out on getting to the other side. It just never works.

Put a leash on your dog when you’re practicing this. This is to prevent your dog accidentally getting through the door during training and undoing all your hard work.

Your dog doesn’t have to sit or anything but you may find that they will start to offer a sit later on to see if that works for them. Now go to the door and start to open it. The millisecond that your dog moves forward towards the door AT ALL, close it shut.

This is where your patience will come in and you need to be more patient than your dog!

Stick to this process every single time and it may feel at first like it will take ages but soon you’ll start seeing results and may even think, “hey she learned that quick!”

Praise your dog for waiting and then when they wait without trying to go through, say “let’s go” and walk them through calmly as a reward. Keep repeating to practice. If your dog races through when you say they can go, turn around, head back in and start again until they walk through calmly. When they get it right, they get to stay out there with you for longer. This is the reward.

If you want to, you can add in a treat when your dog stays put and doesn’t try to dash through. But it’s not really needed if you’re going to let them through at the end for their reward, because going through is what they really want!

You should stick to this new rule all the time going forward. It can even help your dog learn to stop pulling you through the door and down the street if you’re going on a walk too because starting a walk calmly with a loose lead sets a better tone for the walk then racing through the door.

Now go do some training!

Coming When Called: How to Improve Your Dog’s Recall!

Coming When Called: How to Improve Your Dog’s Recall!

Click Here For Video Transcription:

Dog’s Recall: Coming When Called

Hey, it’s Tenille here from Dog Matters. Today we’re going to do a quick video on how to improve your dog’s recall, which is coming when called. So first I’m going to show you what not to do, and to do that I’m not going to use a real dog, because it would be a little bit unfair. So I’m going to use my pal here, Scooby. Scooby, oi, stop doing that. Scooby, come, come. Scooby, come. Come here. Here. Come here. Come. Come here. Come here. Ah, no, bad dog. You’re not coming when you’re called. Come. Come here. Bad dog. I told you to come. Now we’re going home. Oh, you never listen. We’re going. Okay, that was a little bit unfair, because Scooby’s actually one of my better behaved dogs. He does a great stay.

I’ve got Chester here today. Yeah, Chester. He’s going to help me out with the demo. So there’s a few rules to always keep in mind when you’re doing your recall. First, is that the recall is always highly rewarding. So use your dog’s best reward. That could be something really valuable like a meaty treat, a toy, a ball, a Frisbee, or something like that. Something the dog really, really loves. Another thing you can do is release the dog back to having fun as a reward. Don’t accidentally punish your dog by only calling them when you’re ready to put the lead on and go home if they’re having a ball running around somewhere.

The next rule with the recall is to set yourself up for success. To do this we always want to work using a long line until the dog is 100% reliable in that environment, and then we can start doing off lead recalls. So let’s have a look at how we would use the long line to improve our recall. We want to not worry about our excess line, just let it drag on the ground, whatever you’re not using. Let the dog go free, exploring, and practice calling them when they’re actually distracted. Don’t always get them to stay and then call them. Because when we need to call our dogs the most, it’s usually when they’re distracted and doing other things. Let the line sort of flow between your hands.

Off you, Chester, go. Wait til the dog’s not looking at you. Say their name first and then say their recall word after they’re already looking at you, and then real them in. Free, off you go, off you go. Chester, here. Good boy, yeah, good! Have a nice piece of sausage. Good boy. Free. Off you go, good boy. Chester, here. Yes, good boy. Free, yeah. This way. Good boy. Off you go. Chester, here. Yes, good boy. Now, if your dog’s coming in really quick like Chester did, you might not get the line all the way in, but try and reel it in as a habit, because the whole reason that we have this on is because it’s like your training wheels, it’s your step between on lead and off lead work. It’s there as a backup to make sure that you can make sure that the dog comes to you when they’re the called, the first time every time. Don’t repeat your command over and over. One command and then make it happen.

So, one of Chester’s favorite rewards when I call him at the beach off lead, is just to go again. So let’s have a look at how he does. Free. Chester, here. Yes, good boy, good. Now, I can give him the sausage and he’ll take it. But what he really wants to do is go again, and that’s his reward. Free, yeah, good boy, go! I don’t even really need the treat because he loves this experience so much. You can really use life rewards to your advantage. Chester, here. Good boy, thank you. Uh-uh, sit. Good boy. Ready? Free. I just wanted him to look at me before getting released.

You can see Chester loves the experience of being recalled and released again so much from practicing it, that he’s just looking at me ready to go, which is a great skill for your dog to have. Here. Good boy. Good boy. Always make sure that when you’re playing this game you can still grab the collar and they come in close enough for you to do that, so that when it is time to put the lead on, you can do that easily. Free. Here. Good boy, good, good boy. Free.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this video today. Thanks for watching. If you have enjoyed it and it’s helped you out, please do share the video online with your friends. Don’t forget to head on over to dogmatters.com.au, where you can get another free video with my top six tips for a loose lead walk with your dog. And you can buy my ebook, which has all my training methods in there for a range of exercises. I hope you have liked the video, because don’t forget, I did call a stuffed dog out in public for you. We also have the Dog Matters community on Facebook, so make sure you jump in, and we’ll see you in there. Thanks for watching. Bye. Here.

Kids & Dogs: How To Greet A Dog!

Kids & Dogs: How To Greet A Dog!

I made this video with kids in mind but it applies to adults too. Everyone should know more about dog safety which includes dog behaviour and body language. Please help spread the message by sharing this video post with everyone.

Even if someone doesn’t have a dog, they will meet dogs from time to time and it’s important they everyone knows how to meet and interact with dogs safely. If you want to see more of this style of video,  or if you have any questions, let me know in the comments.