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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dear Doggie Experts

We have a 9 month old Havanese puppy that is super cute and friendly. Unfortunately, she has learned that it is OK to bark in her crate and that by doing so she can possibly get out of it. One member of our family often inadvertently rewards this barking behavior by letting the dog out of the crate when it barks or giving it attention to try and calm it down. Also, we have (incorrectly) put the dog in her crate as a punishment at times. What can we do to stop her? Please help!

Thanks,
Desperate
 

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What else does she have in her crate? Any toys to play with? Chew toys? Treat dispensing toys? I dunno if you've ever sat in a crate for a couple hours but it's pretty dang boring! Give her things to do. Bully sticks are great for chewing, and treat dispensing toys work great too. Don't expect her to be satisfied with a single toy like a ball or rope toy. Include food so it's very enticing and rewarding for her. Try to let her out before she starts barking, and randomly come up and give her some treats while she is in the crate.

If giving her things to do doesn't work, go back to the beginning. Start all over with crate training as if it was a brand new thing for her. Send her in and reward her and let her right back out several times. Don't shut the door. Once she's fine with that send her in and tell her to Stay. Block her if she tries to come back out and continue blocking until she stops trying to get out. After a second or two reward and let her out. Repeat again and again and again, very gradually increasing the amount of time she waits before coming back out. Don't give her any treats until just before you release her to come out. Don't shut the crate door for any of that. Once she will stay in there quietly for a minute or two, start moving away, again leaving the door open. Work gradually, one step at a time, until you can leave her there while you get up and leave the room. Once she can do that consistently then repeat that whole step but close the crate door each time you walk away.

Is it a wire crate or plastic crate? If it's wire, putting a towel or something over the top may help.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
She has a wire crate with a plastic bottom which is covered with a thick fleece blanket. She usually has one toy but no food. I have tried putting a peanut butter and treat filled Kong in her crate, which keeps her quiet until she finishes it and then she starts barking. I will try to put more entertaining stuff in her crate for her.

Thanks
 
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