Crate Complications

Michael Baugh CPDT-KA, CDBC
To: Ask the dog trainer column
My little heinz 57 rescue dog is almost perfect. She is quite well crate trained but has 2 odd quirks. When I got her a new crate that has a solid lid we started having trouble with it. She does not have visibility through her roof; now it is solid. Everything is higher than her, when her crate is on the floor. She will whine until I take her out. If I put her in her old crate she is fine. How can I get her used to her new crate? I like this one better for our travels since it collapses easier. I thought she would like the side door that opens like a garage door but instead she fusses about the roof. She has always liked to be within sight of me, and this roof is an obstacle. 

Dear reader:
Change is always tricky business isn’t it?  My Dad, for instance, loves his Grand Marquis.  He’s had several over the past 20 some odd years.  He won’t look at anything else.  I, on the other hand, love change.  Let’s mix things up a bit to keep life interesting; that’s my motto.  Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum (or more importantly, where you dog falls) change can be a little stressful.   Fortunately, you can help smooth out the transition.
First, make the new crate awesome for your dog.  Assuming Skittles is willing to go in the crate, leave her in there for short visits of 10-15 minutes.  (If she won’t even go in, watch this video to learn more about teaching her the ins and outs of crate training). Include a delicious stuffed Kong Toy to make the deal even better.  I like to stuff Kong Toys with a full doggie meal, not just some peanut butter and a few treats.  Let her out before the Kong is finished and when she’s not whining.