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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure if I should post this here or in the training forum, but as I'm a first time dog owner (since I was a little kid, anyways), this seemed the more appropriate of the two choices. Let me know if I should move these kinds of questions to the other one.
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I'm fostering a dog, and I'm trying to teach her to go in her crate on command. I'm using this process found here:
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/weekend-crate-training

I got to the point where she would go into the crate with just the verbal cue, then wait for about 20 seconds before receiving her treat and praise. After a couple rounds with that, with variable shorter and longer waiting times, she became antsy and barked. I said "Too bad!" and walked away, since I didn't want to reward her for barking. Once I denied her that reward, she would not go in on command, and I was back to square one where I had to toss a treat in first to even get her there to begin with.

I don't know how to train dogs, so I'm sure there are many things I could improve. Please feel free to give me as much advice as possible.
 

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If she is getting frustrated/antsy then there is likely one of three things happening. Either a) You are upping the criteria too fast. ie. you were rewarding her after say 5 seconds of waiting and then jumped to 20 seconds. That might be too big of a leap for her and she is getting confused about what is expected. Try using gradual increases for proofing: at 5 seconds, 6 seconds, 7 seconds etc. until she is comfortable with longer durations. b) She may think that entering the crate is 1 action and waiting for the treat is a second action. So she may be expecting a reward for entering the crate and a second for basically "staying" in the crate. Since she isn't getting a reward just for entering the crate she isn't going to offer that behavior as frequently. I'd go back to rewarding her as soon as she enters the crate and just work with that for a few days before you add any kind of duration, or one treat for entering and another for staying in the crate for increasing amounts of time. c) Your training sessions may be going too long. She could be experiencing burnout from extended training sessions past her ability to stay focused. Try to keep training sessions short and fun (5 minutes or less). If she's starting to get antsy just finish with something easy that you know you can reward her for so you are ending on a positive note and then try again later.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm. I went from 5 seconds, to 10, to 15, to 20, so maybe that was too quick of an increase. I'll try upping it much more slowly. I've been keeping the training sessions themselves very short, though that's partly because she walks away after doing just 3-6 repetitions, rather than the session being finished.

I'll go back to the beginning of toss treat in > praise once inside > treat for being inside > 'okay' to release, and then work more gradually from there. Thanks for the input!
 

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I would also try repeating each duration 3-4 times before moving on to the next one, especially if it is the first time doing that duration, or the jump is a bit larger (e.g. 10 to 15 seconds). So you'd probably be okay doing only one repetition of a duration for which she had previously been successful multiple times, and do more repetitions of each duration the harder it gets. Once you get to a certain point, you also shouldn't have to start at 1 second for each session, but that might take time.

Crate training can be frustrating.
 

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Just wanted to give an update. I went back and upped the time more gradually, as well as increasing the number of repetitions for each increase, and it worked! She is now at the point where she lays down and waits while I latch the door, and will stay inside for 2-3 minutes before barking or whining. Once she's inside and looks relaxed, instead of tense and alert, I'll begin the part where I walk around the room while she's crated.
 

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Just wanted to give an update. I went back and upped the time more gradually, as well as increasing the number of repetitions for each increase, and it worked! She is now at the point where she lays down and waits while I latch the door, and will stay inside for 2-3 minutes before barking or whining. Once she's inside and looks relaxed, instead of tense and alert, I'll begin the part where I walk around the room while she's crated.
That's great, just a quick note, you'll make progress faster if you release her from being locked in before the whining/barking happens because at this point they're already stressed by the situation. Doing it before that points keeps the experience completely positive for her meaning less steps back and more forward.
 
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