Last night I spent some time getting a crate ready by blocking the bottom below the door with duct tape, so no foot could get caught, and wrapping the area above the door with fake fur, for padding. I wanted to be able to do stage 1-3 tonight, because that is supposed to be done all at once. SG said it could take as much as an hour to go from stage 1 thru 3. In our case we ran through all three stages in 25 minutes.
The DVD said to use the all time favorite treat and we know what that is. I got some peanut butter in a snack container and would dip my finger into it and then stick that through the top of the crate and let Gimme lick it off. So the girlie was highly motivated to win. I don't know if this will help her learn to calm down as suggested, but if it doesn't - she'll sure enjoy the peanut butter and no harm done.
Stage 1 - I Love My Crate
This was too dang easy. On the fourth try, Gimme saw hand reaching for the crate door and immediately was looking high and to the back for where the PB would appear. We did fifteen repetitions.
Stage 2 - Are You A Gambler
At this stage, you start working through distractions. Gimme is too smart for that - just one time of starting to move out and seeing the door close and she knew what the game was. She never budged again, no matter what I did. We ran into the same thing with puppy recalls in Ursula's classes that first year. Ursula would try to distract her and kept having to get more and more creative, because Gimme understood how to win the game. I think that is part of why she still has such great recalls to this day.
Stage 3 - Yer In Yer Out
The second time she went back in and got more peanut butter and that was all it took. After that I had to really encourage her to come out and then she was trying to turn around in the doorway to get back in. Sadly for Gimme the doorway isn't wide enough and being a metal crate has no give... so she got wedged for a second and couldn't decide what to do. But then she did. After that she realized she had to have three feet fully out before turning to get back in. It was funny to watch...
I do think I'll do this with the crate in the car. She gets a bit noisy there and has a hard time settling down. I never let her out until she settles down, but it can take awhile. So I think Stage 1 and Stage 2 with peanut butter might teach her how to do better and thus, get out sooner.
So, the crate games was after getting home from a walk around the lake with Mary and Grafton. Gimme has a harder time with LLW when the boyfriend is there, because she thinks she has to be in front and so does he. Overall she did well with WHAZZAT. I have to say every village idiot that owns a dog is out in force this month...
One time was really cute, we were doing WHAZZAT with a big dog that was moving by really fast. I cued her and Gimme thought it was too much trouble to crane her neck all the way around to look at that dog - so instead she looked at Grafton and then back to me. I'm not sure she agreed with my reasoning for not paying for her creative approach. I certainly appreciated it... I just didn't pay for it.