If your puppy or dog has problems going into their crate or staying in their crate for any length of time, use a Kong or center-cut femur bone. The only time that they will be allowed access to one of these is while they are inside the crate with the door closed.
Make sure the Kong or bone is not too small for your dog. Center cut femur bones are a great alternative to using a rubber Kong, but either will work. While you are home, take the bone away or lock the bone inside the crate so your dog won’t have access to it.
Mix some of your dogs’ kibble with a small amount of plain yogurt. Place a tablespoon of the mixture inside the bone, place the bone in the freezer overnight and give to your dog when you leave.
You may need to teach your dog to go into his crate on command first. Toss a treat into the crate and say “Crate”. Do several repetitions. Once your dog is walking in and out of the crate on his own, tell him “Crate” and give him the bone and shut the crate door.
If your dog does not interact with the bone and wants to come out, let him. Then lock the bone inside the crate. At this point, he may paw at the crate to go back in. Let him. Continue this until he understands that he will only have access to the bone while in the crate with the door shut.
You may want to prepare the bone at night and place it in the freezer. This way it will be ready for you the next morning. Grab the bone, tell your dog “Crate”, drop the bone inside the crate, lock the door and leave the house.
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