When we first brought a crate home, Kasper thought it was okay.
We left the door open and he had a bed in there – what was there not to like?
However then we started shutting him in…and it wasn’t quite as great after that 😛
He’d still go in when asked, he could still be left happily, but he didn’t go in and lounge in there as often…sometimes if we were noisy he’d take himself off to bed, sometimes he’d take a high value chew into his crate, and if we stayed anywhere else other than home his crate was his safe place.
We bought Kasper a 36 inch crate originally; partly because it was cheaper but mainly because we lived in a tiny tiny one bedroom flat and there was simply no room for a larger one.
When Kasper was four years old we upgraded him to a 42 inch dog crate.
This made a huge difference. The crate confidence games we played started zooming along…Kasper would break into the kitchen and rush into his crate. He would sit in there and stare at me, waiting for that marker saying ‘yeah you’ve done so good!’
When we let him out to the garden he’d first run into his crate and sit there until you persuaded him to go outside 🙂
Then the final upgrade came – Kasper’s new 48 inch sooper crate!
The recommended breeds for this crate are Newfoundlands and Bernese Mountain dogs hahaha…Kasper loves it! It gives him a good amount of room whilst also providing a ‘den-like’ environment 🙂
Recently we brought a spare 36 inch crate into the living room, so Rey would have somewhere familiar to rest. Guess who has been using it??
So that got me thinking…I wonder how he’d feel if we brought his crate through to the living room? Would it increase his love for it even more, and would he go settle in there?
There are two issues to work around whilst doing this:
1) Kasper resource guards. This means he feels uncomfortable when he’s in his crate with something high value (eg. a Kong) and someone wanders over to see if she can beg something from him (*cough* Zoey *cough*)
2) When Kasper was younger he would whine when we were doing things with Zoey, and he still barks every now and then when he hears us taking someone out for a walk…hmm, and now we’ve moved him right by the front door XD
To combat the first we have used panels from the pen; we’ve made a barrier around his crate, leaving a 6 inch gap. If he doesn’t like being able to see the dogs, we’ll find something solid to act as a barrier.
For the second point we will give Kasper an extra walk in the evening to tire him out, and he can also go away with a Kong (stuffed with wet food, chunks of carrot / bread, topped off with a glob of PB) AND a Buster Cube holding his daily meals 🙂
So far Kasper seems rather impressed with the shuffle. We’ve even ordered five more blankets in so we can really make it a cozy place to snooze!
Here you can see Kasper in his crate with both the door and his protective barrier open!