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Hi, first post here. I have a three month old red heeler and have been trying to get him crate trained for a few days. I feel like I have done everything right according to what I've read. He isn't scared of the crate. And when he is locked in it his whining time has reduced greatly. The problem is getting him IN the crate. LIke I said, he isn't scared of it, he just doesn't want to go in. I try to lure him in with treats, but he makes sure to keep his back legs out so I can't shut the door. He is learning to sit and fetch but I feel like I haven't focused enough on the main thing I want. Him to get in his crate when I tell him to. I know it's only been a few days but I feel I've made no progress. Another question I have is how long I should make him stay in his "house" until he is house broken? I'm sure this is a common question around here so if you would rather just point me at some links i won't take it as rude ;)

Many thanks
Wea
 

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One method is to 'tease' the dog.
1. Stuff and freeze a Kong.
2. Let him sniff and get interested & excited.
3. Toss the Kong into the crate... and shut the door without letting him in.
4. He will want to go into the crate.... badly. He will scratch and bite and bark.
5. When he finally gets frustrated, looking back at you, maybe sitting, then let him in.
6. He may still play the back legs out game, but if not, then close the door.

The method may be in one of these Two free downloads: http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads

If this doesn't work, then I've exhausted my suggestions :)
 

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Thanks, I'll check out the links. Funny thing is I don't really see him doing a lot of chewing on toys in the cage. Also, peanut butter doesn't seem too effective with him. Is there any other miracle pastes?
 

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You can also put cottage cheese in the kongs, or tiny, tiny bits of cheese and hot dogs. As for how long to make him stay in his "house" until he's housebroken:
I never used the crate for that reason. There's a difference between crate training and potty training. Crate training is helping a dog become accustomed to the crate, so that they are fine going in, and will tolerate being in. Reasons you might want a dog to be ok with being in a crate: if they need to go to the groomers or vets and may need to spend time in a crate when they are there; if you need to crate them when traveling, if they need to stay long term at the vet or boarder, etc.

Now, you can USE a crate as a tool for potty training purposes, but I never really did. I preferred to have the puppy out and about with me because it was easier to actually learn and see their "I gotta go pee" signs, it was easier to interrupt them if they started to pee/poop inside, it was easier to teach them the rules of the house.

If I couldn't actually keep my eyes on them because I was busy doing chores or showering or cooking, then I would put them in the crate or ex-pen, so they were contained in one area.

The premise behind using the crate for potty training is that most dogs won't pee/poop where they sleep (or eat). BUT, young puppies don't have much control over their bladders yet, so if they HAVE to go, they will, wherever they happen to be. That said, they may try harder to hold it, because they don't want to soil their den. That is just a generalization, though, some pups don't care about that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the post. Everything I read says that a crate is the best (maybe easiest) way to house train a dog. Either way I guess I'm sort of unsure of how long he should hang out in the crate while I AM around. Sounds like I should just close the bedroom doors and keep an eye on him while I am their and try to learn his "need to go" behaviors. The cats will love me, haha!
 

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Yes, even today, with our dogs being 2 and 3, we still keep the doors to the bedrooms closed, just so we know they aren't getting into anything! :)
 
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